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European Union launches 'peace corps' of 10,000 volunteers

Published on Sep 19, 2012 10:05 PM
EU International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, commissioner Kristalina Georgieva and two young people pose after a press conference on the presentation of a report on the creation of a European "Peace Corps" at the EU headquarters in Brussels on Sept 19, 2012. -- PHOTO: AFP

BRUSSELS (AFP) - The EU executive on Wednesday announced the launch of a giant European 'peace corps' of 10,000 volunteers for worldwide humanitarian operations from 2014 to 2020.

"EU Aid Volunteers will demonstrate our European solidarity by helping those most in need," said Ms Kristalina Georgieva, the commissioner for humanitarian aid.

"They will at the same time learn invaluable skills. Saving lives is a life-changing experience that they will never forget." The scheme will be open to European citizens and long-term residents aged over 18 and comes with a budget of 239 million euros for training, deployment and capacity building in communities hit by disasters.

Some 10,000 people will be deployed from 2014 to 2020, the next European Union budget period, with training also provided for 7,000 local staff and volunteers of organisations in countries hit by disasters, the European Commission said.

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