USA pulls us closer

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Relations with the Superpower to be revived with return of the US Peace Corps

 

By EDDIE OSIFELO

US Ambassador Catherine Ebert-Gray and Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare during discussions at the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

ABOUT 40-45 Peace Corps volunteers are expected to arrive in Honiara from the United States in July.

This is part of the US move to revive the Peace Corps programme here after 50 of them left the country during the ethnic conflict from 1998-2003.

In the past, the Peace Corps focussed on health and education in the communities as volunteers.

United States Ambassador to Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, Catherine Ebert-Gray told media in Honiara yesterday they expect the government to identify which places these volunteers will serve in.

She said they may focus on environment, education and health.

Ambassador Ebert-Gray and Jennifer Spande, Deputy Director of Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Islands based in Washington, have met with the Japanese Ambassador in Honiara and discussed how Japan supports its volunteers here.

She said Solomon Islands is a safe place for volunteers to work.

“Volunteers who served in Solomon Islands have shared their enduring stories of Solomon Islands,” she added.

Currently, nearly 7,000 Peace Corps volunteers are working in 76 countries to bring clean water to communities, teach children, protect the environment, help start new businesses, and prevent the spread of AIDS. Since 1961, more than 155,000 Americans have joined the Peace Corps, serving in 134 nations.

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