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Commission decision of 2.12.2015 financing humanitarian actions in the Greater Horn of Africa from the 11th European Development Fund (ECHO/-HF/EDF/2015/01000)

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THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION,

Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,
Having regard to Council Regulation (EU) 2015/322 of 2 March 2015 on the implementation of the 11th European Development Fund1 and in particular Article 9(3) thereof,
Having regard to Council Regulation (EU) 2015/323 of 2 March 2015 on the financial regulation applicable to the 11th European Development Fund2 and in particular Article 26

thereof,

Whereas:

(1) Since March 2015, evidence has been increasing for 2015 becoming a year when the El Niño weather conditions have a particularly strong impact on vulnerable populations around the globe. In the Greater Horn of Africa region, the humanitarian consequences of El Niño - particularly severe food insecurity - are now confirmed.
This year's El Niño phenomenon is considered among the strongest since records began in the region.

(2) Over 13 million people are currently food insecure in the Greater Horn of Africa region and the situation keeps on worsening.

(3) However, the peak strength of this El Niño is expected between October 2015 and January 2016 and coincides with the short rainfall season in most countries in the region. By early and mid-2016, up to 3.5 million people are expected to be affected by floods and at least 22 million people by food insecurity.

(4) To reach populations in need, humanitarian aid should be channelled through nongovernmental organisations, international organisations including United Nations agencies or directly by the Commission. Where necessary, recourse to Member States' specialised agencies should also be possible. The Commission should thereof implement the budget either by direct management or by indirect management in accordance with Articles 17 and 37 of Regulation (EU) 2015/323 together with Articles 58, 60 and 121 et seq. of Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2012/966.

(5) An assessment of the humanitarian situation leads to the conclusion that humanitarian aid actions should be financed by the Union for a period of 18 months.

(6) For the purposes of this Decision, the Greater Horn of Africa countries involved are Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda.

(7) Sudanese populations should benefit from assistance under this Decision in accordance with Articles 6(4) and 9 of Annex IV to the Cotonou Agreement3 .

(8) Pursuant to Article 37 of Council Regulation (EU) 2015/323 and Article 130 of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union4 , and in view of the specific nature of humanitarian aid, expenditure incurred before the date of submission of a proposal for action should be eligible for Union funding.

(9) The use of the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) set up by the Internal Agreement5 is necessary as all the funds for African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries in the general budget are entirely allocated.

(10) It is estimated that an amount of EUR 78 000 000 from the reserve for unforeseen needs (B-envelope) of the 11th EDF is necessary to provide humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable populations directly or indirectly affected by events linked to the El Niño phenomenon. Although as a general rule actions financed by this Decision should be co-financed, the Authorising Officer should be able to agree to the financing of actions in full, in accordance with Articles 2(1) and 37(1) of Regulation (EU) 2015/323, together with Article 277 of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU)
No 1268/20126 .

(11) Within 14 days of the adoption of this Decision and in line with Article 14(4) of Regulation (EU) 2015/322, the Commission will submit this Decision to the EDF Committee set up under Article 8 of the 11th EDF Internal Agreement, in order to obtain its opinion,