"Founded in 1961, the Peace Corps has sought to meet its legislative mandate of promoting world peace and friendship by sending American volunteers to serve at the grassroots level in villages and towns in all corners of the globe. [At the end of] September 2011, about 9,095 volunteers were serving in 76 nations. In 2012, the 112th Congress is considering the President's annual funding request for the Peace Corps, efforts to reauthorize the Peace Corps, and related issues. […] On July 21, the House Foreign Affairs Committee reported H.R. 2583, the Foreign Relations Authorization for FY2012, which includes language authorizing $375 million for the Peace Corps in FY2012 as well as provisions addressing Peace Corps safety and security. On July 27, 2011, Senator Kerry introduced S. 1426, the Foreign Relations Authorization for FY2012 and FY2013, including language authorizing $439.6 million for the Peace Corps in FY2012 and 'such sums as may be necessary' for FY2013. On November 21, 2011, the Kate Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Protection Act of 2011 was signed into law (P.L. 112-57). It puts into place a number of safeguards to address and reduce the incidence of volunteer rape and sexual abuse. A comprehensive assessment of Peace Corps operations was published in June 2010. It makes 64 recommendations supporting a six-point strategy to be implemented in the coming years. Current issues include the extent to which there is available funding for Peace Corps expansion, whether the Peace Corps has the institutional capacity to expand, and whether volunteers are able to function in a safe and secure environment."
CRS Report for Congress, RS21168