Because of the concern raised by hundreds of groups and thousands of individuals (many from the Peace Corps community), key officials of the United States Postal Service's Global Business Division met today with members of a coalition seeking a return to more affordable overseas shipping rates for books and other humanitarian materials.
In response to the level of public concern expressed to a decision last May which eliminated international surface mail, the USPS is in the process of trying to establish a new service that will lower current rates (which tripled or quadrupled in the past six months) while adhering to a congressional mandate that USPS operate at a profit.
NPCA Advocacy Coordinator Jonathan Pearson was part of today's meeting. "While we did not receive a specific date on when the new service would be finalized, the USPS officials we met with stressed they are seriously exploring how they can provide humanitarian groups and individuals the best, most cost-efficient solution possible. This is directly due to the many citizen concerns raised over the last several months."
Pearson says today's meeting highlighted several additional matters including special concerns and challenges in providing low cost shipping service to Africa and possible legislative initiatives through Congress to try and address the issue.
Nearly 7,000 individuals have now signed an on-line petition to share their concern about the need to support humanitarian shipping. Please continue to sign the petition and share it with others if you have not yet taken action.
For additional information on this issue, click on the tag "M-Bag" at the bottom of this post, or in the right hand column under "Categories." Information can also be found in the Advocacy section of the NPCA website. If you are a Facebook user, look for the M-Bag issue in the Causes application.