THE COMMISSION OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES,
Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community,
Having regard to Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No.1257/96 of 20 June 1996 concerning humanitarian aid(2), and in particular Article 2(f) and Article 15(2) thereof,
Having regard to Council Decision 2001/822/EC of 27 November 2001 on the association of the overseas countries and territories with the European Community ('Overseas Association Decision')(3), and in particular Articles 21 and 30 thereof:
(1) The Caribbean is exposed to a wide range of natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanoes;
(2) Local communities are very vulnerable to all these disasters. The Caribbean countries' capacity to cope with disasters is insufficient and support from the international community is needed to promote preparedness activities and small mitigation projects;
(3) To reach populations in need, aid should be channelled through Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) or International Organisations including United Nations (UN) agencies. Therefore the European Commission should implement the budget by direct centralized management or by joint management;
(4) For the purposes of this Decision, the Caribbean countries involved are Anguilla (OCT(4)), Antigua and Barbuda, Netherlands Antilles (OCT), Aruba (OCT), Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Cuba, Dominique, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Cayman Islands (OCT), Turks et Caicos Islands (OCT), British Virgin Islands (OCT), Jamaica, Montserrat (OCT), Dominican Republic, Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago;
(5) An assessment of the humanitarian situation leads to the conclusion that humanitarian aid Actions should be financed by the Community for a period of 18 months. Many of the actions funded under DIPECHO are usually implemented for a 15 month period. This is due to the disaster preparedness component intrinsic to DIPECHO projects that involve a high degree of community mobilization. Mobilizing and training communities usually require lengthy amounts of time;
(6) It is estimated that an amount of EUR 5,000,000 from budget line 23 02 03 of the general budget of the European Communities is necessary to provide humanitarian assistance to over 300,000 vulnerable persons, taking into account the available budget, other donors' contributions and other factors. Therefore the activities covered by this Decision may be financed in full in accordance with Article 253 of the Implementing Rules of the Financial Regulation;
(7) The present Decision constitutes a financing Decision within the meaning of Article 75 of the Financial Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/20025, Article 90 of the detailed rules for the implementation of the Financial Regulation determined by Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2342/20026, and Article 15 of the internal rules on the implementation of the general budget of the European Communities7.
(8) In accordance with Article 17 (3) of Regulation (EC) No.1257/96, the Humanitarian Aid Committee gave a favourable opinion on 26 March 2009.
HAS DECIDED AS FOLLOWS:
1. In accordance with the objectives and general principles of humanitarian aid, the Commission hereby approves a total amount of EUR 5,000,000 for the Seventh DIPECHO Action Plan for the Caribbean by using line 23 02 03 of the 2009 general budget of the European Communities.
2. In accordance with Article 2(f) of Council Regulation No.1257/96, the humanitarian Actions under this Decision shall be implemented in the pursuance of the following specific objectives:
- To support strategies that enable local communities and institutions to prepare for, mitigate and respond to natural disasters, by enhancing their capacities to cope, thereby increasing resilience and reducing vulnerability.
An amount of EUR 5,000,000 is allocated to this specific objective.
1. The duration for the implementation of this Decision shall be for a maximum period of 18 months, starting on 1 September 2009.
2. Expenditure under this Decision shall be eligible from 1 September 2009.
3. If the Actions envisaged in this Decision are suspended owing to force majeure or comparable circumstances, the period of suspension shall not be taken into account for the calculation of the duration of the implementation of this Decision.
1. The Commission shall implement the budget by direct centralised management or by joint management with international organisations.
2. Actions supported by this Decision will be implemented either by:
- Non-profit-making organisations which fulfil the eligibility and suitability criteria established in Article 7 of Council Regulation (EC) No. 1257/96
- or International organisations
3. Taking account of the specificities of humanitarian aid, the nature of the activities to be undertaken, the specific location constraints and the level of urgency, the activities covered by this Decision may be financed in full in accordance with Article 253 of the Implementing Rules of the Financial Regulation.
This Decision will take effect on the date of its adoption.
Done at Brussels
For the Commission
Member of the Commission