Agency Updates During COVID-19

The Peace Corps is eager for Volunteers to return to service as soon as the health and safety of Volunteers, staff, and host communities can be assured.

How we’re preparing our posts, host country communities, and staff to welcome back Peace Corps Volunteers

Due to the complexity of the COVID-19 pandemic and its fallouts in every post, we cannot address timing yet. We continue to review and assess the situation in each country. What we can share is an overview of how we are preparing for our return, the roadmap that is guiding our decision-making, and the key actions that will maximize the safety of our Volunteers, host community members and partners, and staff.

Fundamental to our return is working closely with our posts and host country partners to ensure that we are making informed plans and preparations. We are actively engaging our colleagues in the development of a comprehensive process for evaluating each post based on medical, security, programmatic, administrative, and logistical criteria. The decision to reopen a country will require a thorough review by a panel of subject matter experts at Peace Corps Headquarters, along with approvals by senior office heads and the Director.

Here are the key highlights related to resuming our overseas operations:

  • Testing: Volunteers will be tested for COVID-19 prior to departure for their country of service and will be quarantined upon arrival for approximately 14 days*. These measures will help reduce the likelihood of transmission among Volunteers and will protect both Host Country National staff and local communities.
  • Partnership: The Peace Corps is working in close partnership with host country governments, local communities, and in-country stakeholders to ensure that the timing of our return is as safe as possible, respectful of local conditions, supportive of host country needs, and compliant with national/local laws, regulations, and protocols.
  • Training: Volunteers and staff will receive training, guidance, and equipment to lessen exposure to COVID-19 and lower the probability of infection. In addition, offices and training facilities will strengthen hygiene practices, promote social distancing, and limit large group gatherings until conditions are conducive to a resumption of pre-COVID activities.
  • Safeguards: All posts will have a COVID-19 Emergency Response Plan developed in coordination with our Office of Safety and Security and the Office of Health Services. The plan will identify staff and Volunteers’ roles and responsibilities and include monitoring protocols, key decision points, response procedures, and detailed guidance on the management of suspected and confirmed cases.

We greatly appreciate your patience in these complex, challenging times. We all await eagerly the moment when we can safely welcome Volunteers back to service.

*Quarantine periods may vary by country. Volunteers will be in safe locations under Peace Corps control.

Resources for Returned Volunteers

Returning to service

There is now an expedited application available specifically for evacuated Volunteers interested in returning to service.
Get details and apply

RPCV Portal

Upcoming events for RPCVs, including Employer Spotlights, Career Resources, Speakers Match programs, and more.
Go to RPCV Portal

Learning Space

Courses on Post Service Health Benefits, Health and Wellness Kit, Intro to Returned Volunteer Services, and more.
Go to Learning Space

Frequently asked questions

Last updated: July 2, 2020, at 11:47 a.m. ET

On March 15, the agency announced it would temporarily suspend Volunteer operations and begin evacuating Volunteers from all posts due to the COVID-19 pandemic. See our FAQs related to evacuation and completion of service:

Peace Corps CARES Act funding plan [PDF]
As required by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), this document represents the Peace Corps’ plan to the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee (PRAC) describing how the agency will use “covered funds”.

The people of this agency are like family to me. The same goes for our Volunteers and the more than 240,000 Returned Peace Corps Volunteers across the U.S. I will do everything I can to safeguard and celebrate this extraordinary group of Americans."

Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen, April 6, 2020
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