Peace Corps Cites Success, Flat Budget for Volunteer Cuts
With some missions accomplished and its budget flat, the Peace Corps is withdrawing volunteers in the coming 18 months from Tunisia, Uruguay, Hungary, Botswana and elsewhere.
It means that the U.S. government service organization will be declining in size slightly from last year’s 20-year peak of 7,200 volunteers in 94 countries. By late 1997 it will have about 6,500 people in about 90 countries.
Peace Corps Director Mark D. Gearan said in documents before Congress that to operate within expected finances, programs would be discontinued in a dozen countries from 1996 through 1998, and reduced in six others.
Countries with rising levels of political, economic and social development, able to take over services done by the volunteers, are targets for the cutbacks.
Programs due for possible expansion are in Haiti, where volunteers returned in April; China, where 13 volunteers have taught English since 1963 at Chengdu; Ghana, the Peace Corps’ first host country 35 years ago; Mongolia; Nepal; Papua New Guinea; Tonga; Vanuatu; and the Philippines.