Peace Corps Hits 40 Year High
By Jonathan Pearson on Thursday, October 28th, 2010
Advocates for an expanded Peace Corps got some good news Thursday as the agency announced its highest number of serving volunteers since 1970. As stated in a press release, 8,655 Peace Corps volunteers are currently serving in 77 host countries as of this past September (Peace Corps conducts an annual volunteer count each September 30th). This represents a 13% increase from 2009.
“This expansion reflects our community’s long-held aspiration that the Peace Corps grow strategically and efficiently,” said Kevin Quigley, President of the National Peace Corps Association. ”This was made possible in large part by the community’s effort in recent years that resulted in the largest single-year Peace Corps dollar increase in history – growing from $340 million to $400 million last year.”
Peace Corps noted that the nearly one thousand additional volunteers in the field came through meeting requests for expansion at 51 posts, re-opening programs in several additional countries and increasing the number of third year extensions.
This news comes as Congress continues to consider its Fiscal Year 2011 Peace Corps appropriation. While the House of Representatives is supporting President Obama’s request of $446 million, the Senate is proposing only $420 million for the agency.
Contact your Senators and urge them to support the President’s request of $446 million for the Peace Corps in Fiscal Year 2011. It is particularly important to contact your Senator if s/he is on the Appropriations Subcommittee for State/Foreign Operations.
(Thanks to Norah Mutuma for contributing to this post)