Information For Foreign Service Families About USAID’s Plan For Returning Officers and Families Overseas

The uncertainties caused by COVID-19 have understandably led to increased stress and anxiety among our Foreign Service families. Despite these difficulties, the USAID community has demonstrated strength, focus, adaptability, and resilience.

The health and safety of our staff and their families are USAID’s top priority. We are committed to being transparent and communicative in order to help relieve some of the stress our Foreign Service families are feeling. This letter summarizes USAID’s phased-approach to return to optimal operations overseas.

Our Approach

USAID’s approach to returning Officers and their families to post is incremental, conditions-based, and location-specific. It is not time-based. Each post will move through three phases of return, with each transition responsive to evolving data, information, and guidance from local authorities.

Ambassadors/Chiefs of Mission and USAID Mission Directors are partnering with the State Department's Management Bureau to make decisions on moving each post from Phase 0 to Phase 3. Medical and health conditions are the primary consideration factors, additional factors include: international school status; open airports and land borders; security; DPO and Pouch availability; and safe, clean Embassy facilities.

Each post will have its own approach to return. Officers and their families should expect the three phases of return generally to follow the patterns below:

Phase One

  • Official travel to post for USAID employees remains limited to mission-critical travel authorized by the Ambassador/Chief of Mission and the Office of the Administrator. Travel by Eligible Family Members (EFMs) will not be considered mission-critical.

Phase Two

  • Official travel to post for USAID employees likely will be restricted to essential and limited non-essential travel authorized by the Ambassador/Chief of Mission and the cognizant regional USAID Assistant Administrator (AA).

Phase Three

  • Official travel to post for USAID employees and families returns to normal.

For all phases of return, USAID will publish protocols for employees who either identify as members of a vulnerable population as defined by the CDC, or who live with or provide care for an individual in a vulnerable population, to notify their supervisors and seek exception from any scheduled return to USAID facilities. These protocols will include information for employees who wish to seek a reasonable accommodation through USAID.

The Roadmap will evolve over time as new or updated information becomes available, and again, USAID is committed to maintain consistent and transparent communication with our Foreign Service Families as we navigate the return to optimal operations together.

For additional information, please review the following materials.

Resources on Reopening:

Resources on Evacuation

Last updated: May 21, 2020

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