Having regard to the Treaty on Functioning of the European Union,
Having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No.1257/96 of 20 June 1996 concerning humanitarian aid , and in particular Article 2 and Article 15(2) thereof;
(1) The El Niño phenomenon has led to a serious lack of rainfall and, hence, drought in Guatemala, particularly in the eastern part of the country. As a result, major harvest losses have been registered, which has a direct negative impact on the food security situation of the most vulnerable population;
(2) The Government of Guatemala declared a state of emergency on 3 September 2009 and requested international assistance on 17 September 2009;
(3) While drought is a recurrent phenomenon in eastern Guatemala, in 2009, the food insecurity situation of the concerned population has been clearly exacerbated by the El Niño phenomenon, continuously high food prices and the global financial crisis;
(4) As a result of the drought, global acute malnutrition rates have increased in children between 6 and 59 months and exceed the emergency threshold in several communities, with several pockets of acute malnutrition having been identified;
(5) To reach populations in need, humanitarian aid should be channelled through Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and International Organisations including United Nations (UN) agencies. Therefore, the European Commission should implement the budget by direct centralized management or by joint management;
(6) An assessment of the humanitarian situation leads to the conclusion that humanitarian aid Actions should be financed by the European Union for a period of 12 months;
(7) It is estimated that an amount of EUR 1,325,000 (EUR 800,000 from budget article 23 02 01 and EUR 525,000 from budget article 23 02 02) is necessary to provide humanitarian assistance to over 20,000 vulnerable people, 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;
(8) The present Decision constitutes a financing Decision within the meaning of Article 75 of the Financial Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002, Article 90 of the detailed rules for the implementation of the Financial Regulation determined by Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2342/2002, and Article 15 of the internal rules on the implementation of the general budget of the European Union;
HAS ADOPTED THIS DECISION:
1. In accordance with the objectives and general principles of humanitarian aid, the Commission hereby approves a total amount of EUR 1,325,000 for the financing of humanitarian Actions in Guatemala (EUR 800,000 from budget article 23 02 01 and EUR 525,000 form budget article 23 02 02 of the 2009 general budget of the European Union).
2. In accordance with Article 2 of Council Regulation No.1257/96, the principal objective of this Decision is to provide humanitarian aid to vulnerable people affected by the drought in Guatemala. The humanitarian Actions shall be implemented in the pursuance of the following specific objectives:
- To contribute to improving the humanitarian situation of people affected by drought in Guatemala by providing multi-sectoral assistance
A total of EUR 800,000 from budget article 23 02 01 is allocated to this specific objective.
- To contribute to reducing malnutrition and mortality of people affected by drought in Guatemala by providing food assistance
A total of EUR 525,000 from budget article 23 02 02 is allocated to this specific objective.