The US Peace Corps has decided to temporarily suspend all operations around the world and evacuate its volunteers as the coronavirus pandemic spreads.
"As COVID-19 continues to spread and international travel becomes more and more challenging by the day, we are acting now to safeguard your well-being and prevent a situation where volunteers are unable to leave their host countries," the group said in a statement published Sunday.
The Peace Corps had already evacuated volunteers from China and Mongolia following the outbreak at the beginning of the year.
Peace Corps director Jody Olsen said in the statement that she understood the evacuations would be "difficult, emotionally draining" experiences.
"Ensuring your health, safety and security is the highest priority of the Peace Corps," she said.
Since 1961, the Peace Corps have sent volunteers from the US to more than 141 countries worldwide to provide technical assistance on social and development projects.