KATHMANDU, March 21: The Peace Corps Nepal has temporarily suspended all Volunteer Operations in Nepal and other countries in view of the growing threat of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to a press statement issued by the US Embassy in Kathmandu on Friday, the decision was precipitated by the ever-increasing number of travel restrictions throughout the world and the inability of volunteers to travel back to their homes in the United States or to seek urgent medical care outside of their countries of service if needed.
Director of the Peace Corps, Dr Jody K Olsen assured everyone that these evacuations are temporary. “We are not closing posts and programs, and we will be ready to return to normal operations when conditions permit. Importantly, our host country staff will remain in their current positions. They play a critical role in every element of the Peace Corps mission, especially in a time of crisis,” the statement quoted Olsen as saying.
“I know this is a very stressful time [for the world], for your country, and for the host communities that embraced our volunteers, and our host country staff. I deeply appreciate your understanding as we work through these logistically challenging operations, and I am incredibly grateful for your continuous support of the Peace Corps,” the statement quoted Olsen as saying further.
Peace Corps has a long and deep relationship with Nepal and with Nepali communities and families. Since 1962, almost 4,000 Americans have served as Peace Corps Volunteers here – working in sectors like education, environment and natural resource conservation, health, and community and youth development.
While stating that Peace Corps is committed to the quick return of volunteers serving in Nepal when possible, the statement said that Peace Corps staff will continue to work with their Nepali partners and communities to prepare for their return.
“We are profoundly grateful to the Government of Nepal and to our Nepali host families, partners and communities for the incredible support, care, and generosity you have shown to the Peace Corps and to our volunteers. We look forward not only to the return of Peace Corps Volunteers soon but also to the continued work that we do together,” the statement added.