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GAO discussed the Peace Corps' operations and opportunities for the next decade. GAO noted that the Peace Corps: (1) had difficulty achieving its 10,000-volunteer objective mandated by Congress; (2) filled only 84 percent of the requests for scarce skill volunteers, many of whom did not fully meet the criteria for those positions; (3) did not fully implement mechanisms to attract volunteers with skills and develop adequate assignments for volunteers; (4) had no centrally managed policy for evaluating and monitoring assignments; and (5) volunteers did not receive sufficient host-government support or lacked adequate language skills to conduct their assignments. GAO believes that the Peace Corps needs to strengthen: (1) its recruitment strategies to attract volunteers with scarce skills; (2) procedures in its recruitment offices for locating scarce-skill volunteers; (3) the manner in which it develops assignments for volunteers; (4) programs aimed at attracting minorities to become Peace Corps volunteers; and (5) programs to enhance the efforts of returned Peace Corps volunteers to teach the American people about the cultures of beneficiary countries.

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