Commission decision of on the financing of humanitarian actions from the general budget of the European Communities in the Caribbean (ECHO/DIP/BUD/2009/04000)

THE COMMISSION OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES,

Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community,

Having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No.1257/96 of 20 June 1996 concerning humanitarian aid( 1), and in particular Articles 2 (f), 4 and 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(2)), and in particular Articles 21 and 30 thereof:

Whereas:

(1) The Caribbean Region is exposed to multiple disasters, including floods, mudslides, hurricanes, earthquakes and volcanoes, whose effects are exacerbated by socioeconomic factors such as high population density, fast demographic growth, inequality and poverty;

(2) The Caribbean countries' capacity to cope with disaster is insufficient, and improvement of the disaster management capacity of this region is of great importance in order to save lives and livelihoods;

(3) A coherent and coordinated approach is required to address disaster risk reduction in the Caribbean in a more sustainable manner;

(4) The Communication on the EU Strategy Supporting Disaster Risk Reduction in Developing Countries identifies the Caribbean region as a priority and recommends the development and implementation of disaster risk reduction actions by up-scaling existing EU/EC disaster risk reduction projects and programmes and building on developing countries' strategies and priorities while fully involving the communities in the decision-making process and implementation of activities.

(5) To reach populations in need, humanitarian aid should be channelled through International Organisations;

(6) An assessment of the humanitarian situation leads to the conclusion that humanitarian aid Actions should be financed by the Community for a period of 16 months;

(7) For the purposes of this Decision the Caribbean countries and Overseas Countries and Territories involved are Anguilla (OCT), Antigua and Barbuda, Netherlands Antilles (OCT), Aruba (OCT), Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, Granada, Guyana, Haiti, Cayman Islands (OCT), Turks and Caicos Islands (OCT), British Virgin islands (OCT), Jamaica, Montserrat (OCT), Dominican Republic, Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Surinam, Trinidad and Tobago;

(8) It is estimated that an amount of EUR 2,000,000 from budget article 23 02 03 of the general budget of the European Communities is necessary to support the first phase of the implementation of the disaster management multiannual strategy (2009-2014) developed by the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, taking into account the available budget, other donors' contributions and other factors. The activities covered by this Decision may be financed in full in accordance with Article 253 of the Implementing Rules of the Financial Regulation;

(9) The present Decision constitutes a financing Decision within the meaning of Article 75 of the Financial Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002(3), Article 90 of the detailed rules for the implementation of the Financial Regulation determined by Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2342/2002(4), and Article 15 of the internal rules on the implementation of the general budget of the European Communities(5);

HAS DECIDED AS FOLLOWS:

Article 1

1. In accordance with the objectives and general principles of humanitarian aid, the Commission hereby approves a total amount of EUR 2,000,000 for the financing of humanitarian Actions in the Caribbean from budget article 23.02.03 of the 2009 general budget of the European Communities.

2. In accordance with Articles 2 (f) and 4 of Council Regulation No.1257/96, the principal objective of this Decision is

- To reduce the impact of natural disasters in the Caribbean region through enhanced preparedness in the areas most vulnerable to recurrent natural hazards.

The humanitarian Actions shall be implemented in the pursuance of the following specific objective:

- To enhance regional disaster management strategies in the Caribbean and thus: i) improve local capacities to prepare for, mitigate and respond to the adverse effects of climate change and natural disasters in the Caribbean, and ii) strategically links regional, national and community level activities with particular emphasis on complementary actions by multiple stakeholders while helping to ensure that these activities are institutionalised.

The full amount of this Decision is allocated to this specific objective.

Article 2

1. The period for the implementation of the Actions financed under this Decision shall start on 1 September 2009 and shall run for 16 months. Eligible expenditure shall be committed during the implementing period of the Decision.

2. If the implementation of individual Actions is suspended owing to force majeure or other exceptional circumstances, the period of suspension shall not be taken into account in the implementing period of the Decision in respect of the Action suspended.

3. In accordance with the contractual provisions ruling the Agreements financed under this Decision, the Commission may consider eligible those costs arising and incurred after the end of the implementing period of the Action which are necessary for its winding- up.

Article 3

1. In accordance with Article 253 of the Implementing Rules and having regard to the urgency of the Action, the availability of other donors and other relevant operational circumstances, funds under this Decision may finance humanitarian Actions in full.

2. Actions supported by this Decision will be implemented by International Organisations.

3. The Commission shall implement the budget by joint management with International Organisations that are signatories to the Framework Partnership Agreements (FPA) and which were subject to the four pillar assessment in line with Article 53d of the Financial Regulation.

Article 4

This Decision will take effect on the date of its adoption.

Done at Brussels

For the Commission

Member of the Commission