Friday, November 14, 2008

Fund the Peace Corps

Peace Corps programs around the world have had to cut their budgets by 15% this fall. Peace Corps trainees and volunteers in Niger are feeling the pinch; training sessions and services have been cut. The Nigerien training staff is now doing double duty, teaching both language and tech skills. Volunteers are doing without programs and services that they had 6 months ago. Staff has been reduced.

Peace Corps has been hands-down the most cost-effective foreign aid program that the US has had for over four decades. Recent budget cuts have hurt. If you have a friend or relative in the Peace Corps, they will be negatively affected. Through the website Fund Peace Corps (set up by PC volunteers in Mongolia) you can easily send a message to your congressmen and women: please restore funding to the Peace Corps.

If you go to the above link you will see that it is set up to generate letters to mail to your senators and representatives. For the simplest case all you have to do is enter your zip, then at the end copy and paste a bit. Or you can get fancier... It looks up info on the representatives and adds references to their Peace Corps service (if they served) or their ability to change the budget (if they’re on the Appropriations Committee). So please check it out.

Oh, by the way:
To put the Peace Corps budget into some perspective:
Peace Corps proposed 2009 Budget: $343.5 million
2009 Enacted supplemental Global War on Terror Funding (pg 22 of this document ): $68 billion

Peace Corps 2009 budget= .005% of 2009 Global War on Terror budget
In 3.65 days the Global War will spend as much supplemental/emergency funding as the whole Peace Corps budget for the year. Gee, couldn't we round it up to 4 full days?


Merry said...

I've done my bit. Hopefully everyone who reads this beautiful blog will do the same. It's painless for us, and means so much to those who are affected by the Peace Corps.

Kerry said...

Thanks Merry. It is a really a quick and easy way to make a statement to your congress people. I hope others will do the same.