WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement recognizing the 55th anniversary of the founding of the Peace Corps.
“Today in 1961, President Kennedy issued an executive order establishing the Peace Corps. Fifty-five years later, the Peace Corps has empowered and saved the lives of countless people across the world. The Peace Corps is the most impactful volunteer humanitarian force in the world. It has helped lead the international community in eradicating diseases, advancing the sustainability of communities, providing education and responding to global calamities. The sacrifice of Peace Corps volunteers has helped shape a more just and stable world.
“Peace Corps volunteers represent the best qualities of American foreign policy. They come from all walks of life and from across the country. In their history, 5,954 Marylanders have served in the Peace Corps. Recently, I had the chance to meet Marylanders currently working in a PEPFAR (The United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) center in Botswana. They are saving lives. I could not be more proud of these Americans giving of themselves to shape a better future and show the world America’s strong penchant for service.
“The Peace Corps faces unique challenges. In a time of austere budgets, it is critically important that we ensure the Peace Corps can continue to work with a predictable budget. As Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I will continue to support the Peace Corps and work to ensure that it has the tools needed to carry out its lifesaving mission safely and efficiently. On this anniversary, I thank Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler Radelet and volunteers past and present for their service.”