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Commission decision of on the financing of humanitarian actions in Central Asia from the general budget of the European Union (Sixth DIPECHO Action Plan) (ECHO/DIP/BUD/2010/02000)

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THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION,

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 Article 2(f) and Article 15(3) thereof; Whereas:

(1) Central Asia regularly experiences a wide range of natural disasters and in particular landslides, mudslides, floods and earthquakes and the effect of climate change on its environment;

(2) Local communities are particularly vulnerable to all aforementioned disasters, and the losses these cause are significant both in social and economic terms;

(3) The capacities of Central Asia countries to cope with disasters are insufficient considering the great impact of disaster events and climate change on the population. International interventions are therefore needed to support preparedness and small-scale mitigation actions;

(4) While, the community-based experience promoted over the last few years and the coordination mechanisms through DIPECHO have started bearing fruit, there is still a need to ensure that newly Disaster Risk Reduction national plans take over this experience; in countries with the lowest capacities, pilot and communities based activities need to be continued;

(5) 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 centralized management or by joint management;

(6) Past experiences from the previous and ongoing DIPECHO Action Plans implemented in the region as well as various evaluations and recent multi-stakeholder consultations carried out lead to the conclusion that Disaster Preparedness projects should be financed by the Union for a period of 18 months;

(7) For the purposes of this Decision, the Central Asia Countries involved are Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

(8) It is estimated that an amount of EUR 7,295,000 from budget article 23 02 03 of the general budget of the European Union is necessary to provide for disaster preparedness activities (including public awareness measures) taking into account the available budget, other donors' contributions and other factors; this amount will allow for community-based activities through consolidated pilot actions and transfer of experience, the development of innovative measures, as well as the development of focused regional or national actions to improve community-based inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) frameworks. Although as a general rule actions funded by this decision should be co-financed, the Authorising Officer, in accordance with Article 253 of the implementing Rules of the Financial Regulation, may agree to the full financing of Actions.

(9) In order to carry out a proper consultation process at field level and issue detailed guidelines for applicants immediately after the adoption of the Decision, i.e. at the beginning of 2010 year budgetary exercise, the Decision could, exceptionally, be adopted in 2009;

(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;

(11) In accordance with Article 17(2) of Council Regulation (EC) No. 1257/96, the Humanitarian Aid Committee gave a favourable opinion on 12 November 2009.

HAS ADOPTED THIS DECISION:

Article 1

1. In accordance with the objectives and general principles of humanitarian aid, the Commission hereby approves a total amount of EUR 7,295,000 for the financing of disaster preparedness actions in Central Asia from budget article 23.02.03 of the 2010 general budget of the European Union.

2. In accordance with Article 2(f) of Council Regulation No.1257/96, the principal objective of this Decision is to reduce the vulnerability and increase the coping capacities of Central Asia populations living in areas most affected by recurrent natural disasters. The humanitarian actions shall be implemented in the pursuance of the following specific objective:

- To increase resilience and reduce vulnerability of local communities and institutions through support to strategies that enable them to better prepare for, mitigate and respond to natural disasters.

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 April 2010 and shall run for 18 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. As a general rule, Actions funded by this Decision should be co-financed. The Authorising Officer, in accordance with Article 253 of the Implementing Rules, may agree to the full financing of Actions when this will be necessary to achieve the objectives of this Decision and with due consideration to the nature of the activities to be undertaken, the availability of other donors and other relevant operational circumstances.

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 and International organisations.

3. The Commission shall implement the budget:

- either by direct centralised management, with Non-governmental Organisations,;

- or by joint management with international organisations that are signatories to the Framework Partnership Agreements (FPA) or the EC/UN Financial Administrative Framework Agreement (FAFA) and which were subject to the four pillar assessment in line with Article 53d of the Financial Regulation

Article 4

1. The amount of EUR 7,295,000 shall be conditional upon the necessary funds being available under the 2010 general budget of the European Union.

2. This Decision will take effect on the date of its adoption or on 1 January 2010 whichever occurs the latest.

Article 5

This Decision is addressed to the delegated authorising officer

Done at Brussels,

For the Commission
Member of the Commission