Portion of report regarding the Peace Corps:
1/ The FY 2017 Estimate reflects funding from the annualized Continuing Resolution.
The FY 2018 Budget request for the Peace Corps of $398.2 million of which $5.5 million is for the Office of Inspector General, will allow the Peace Corps to meet its core goals: to help countries meet their development needs by building local capacity, to promote a better understanding of Americans around the world, and to bring the world back home by increasing Americans’ knowledge of other cultures. This request supports a cost-effective investment in strengthening the nation by advancing sustainable development and promoting a positive image of the United States. The Peace Corps also helps develop the next generation of American leaders who return home and leverage their leadership and entrepreneurial skills to shape communities across the United States. This request will enable the agency to place 3,960 Americans into new Volunteer positions across 65 countries and support nearly 7,400 Volunteers by the end of FY 2018.
The Peace Corps’ FY 2018 request will allow the agency to innovate and improve, with a focus on strengthening support to Volunteers and maximizing the efficiency of agency operations. In FY 2018, the Peace Corps will strengthen support to Volunteers by enhancing the functionality of the electronic medical records system and advancing a data-driven initiative aimed at improving Volunteer health outcomes. The Peace Corps will also continue to work toward meeting its strategic IT goals by maintaining its focus on retiring legacy IT applications and beginning efforts to transition its data center infrastructure to an offsite facility in 2018. Pending Congressional approval, the agency’s FY 2018 Budget also includes $15.0 million planned for costs related to a potential relocation of the Peace Corps’ headquarters office.
The Peace Corps takes a unique approach to meeting its development and outreach goals. The agency selects, trains, and supports American Volunteers who live and work in areas that other government programs are often unable to reach. Most Volunteers serve for 27 months, integrating into local communities and using their skills and experience to build capacity at the community level so that communities are empowered to solve their development challenges long after the Volunteers have returned home. In addition, the Peace Corps provides targeted assistance in short-term, specialized assignments through Peace Corps Response, a program that matches experienced individuals with unique assignments that require advanced language, technical, and intercultural skills. Peace Corps Volunteers help promote a better understanding of the United States and its values by serving as grassroots ambassadors around the world.
The Peace Corps works as a force multiplier by partnering with other government agencies to dramatically increase the impact and sustainability of U.S. international development programs. With its unique ability to bring about lasting change in hard-to-reach communities, the Peace Corps is an important partner in a number of whole-of-government and interagency development initiatives including the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the President’s Malaria Initiative, and the U.S. Government Global Food Security Strategy. In FY 2018, the Peace Corps will continue these partnerships, while seeking further strategic partnerships to leverage the Peace Corps’ training and programmatic resources in ways that continue to support the agency’s mission.
Volunteers’ service to the United States continues long after they have left the Peace Corps by helping Americans learn about other cultures and peoples. Peace Corps service also builds tangible language, leadership, and intercultural skills that returned Volunteers utilize as they live, work, and serve in communities across the nation. Ultimately, the investment made in Volunteers is repaid many times over, at home and abroad.