Commission Decision of on the financing of emergency humanitarian actions in Japan from the general budget of the European Union (ECHO/JPN/BUD/2011/01000)

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Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,
Having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No.1257/96 of 20 June 1996 concerning humanitarian aid , and in particular Articles 2, and notably 2(a), 4, and 13 thereof;

(1) On 11 March 2011 at 05:46 (UTC) Japan was struck by an earthquake of a magnitude 9.0, depth 24km, with the epicentre off its north-east coast;

(2) The quake generated a devastating tsunami (up to 23m waves) on the Pacific coast whose consequences in terms of death toll, injuries, economic damage and environmental threats are yet to be fully calculated;

(3) Several powerful aftershocks, including a 7.4 magnitude, struck the country.
Landslides and adverse weather conditions hampered the first relief efforts;

(4) As a result of the main quake and of the ensuing tsunami, Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant was damaged with consequent radiation leaks;

(5) As of 20 March, the number of dead and unaccounted for came to 20,405, with 2,612 people injured, while 362,887 were staying in 2,167 shelters in 16 prefectures; at 29 March, the death and missing toll has reached 28,550, while about 250,000 people are still living in more than 2,000 evacuation centres;

(6) Despite the Japanese authorities' relentless effort to respond to the disaster, whose magnitude exceeded the preparedness measures in place, there is a need to support the provision of relief to the affected populations;

(7) To reach populations in need, humanitarian aid should be channelled through nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) and international organisations including United Nations (UN agencies). Therefore the European Commission should implement the budget by direct centralised management or by joint management;

(8) Humanitarian aid actions financed by this Decision should be of a maximum duration of 6 months;

(9) It is estimated that an amount of EUR 10,000,000 from budget article 23 02 01 of the general budget of the European Union is necessary to provide humanitarian assistance to over 350,000 beneficiaries including persons living in evacuation shelters and evacuees living with host families, 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;

(10) 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