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Commission decision on the financing of humanitarian Actions from the general budget of the European Communities in the Caucasus (ECHO/-EE/BUD/2009/01000)

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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 aid1 , and in particular Article 2, 15 (1), and Article 15(2) thereof: Whereas:

(1) The Chechnya conflict has led to an outflow of internally displaced persons (IDPs) into the neighbouring Republics of the Russian Federation. Today, most have come back to Chechnya but Ingushetia and Dagestan still host IDPs. And there are still displaced people in the region at large, notably in Azerbaijan.

(2) The violence has provoked the displacement of people within Chechnya, many of whom remain unable to return to their land because their home has been destroyed, by fear or by lack of sufficient economic resources.

(3) Years of displacement and the persistently volatile security situation in the region have exhausted the economic resources and severely traumatized the affected population.

(4) The conflict has widely disrupted the socio-economical infrastructure, medical services and agricultural production in large parts of Chechnya. Reconstruction and rehabilitation have started and improvements are visible. However, despite the number of years elapsed since the end of the second conflict, most vulnerable groups of the population are still in need of multi-sectoral assistance.

(5) The situation can be qualified as a forgotten crisis, to which few institutional donors are responding;

(6) To reach populations in need, aid should be channelled through Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), International Organisations including United Nations (UN) agencies. Therefore the European Commission should implement the budget by direct centralized management or by joint management;

(7) For the purposes of this Decision, the "Caucasus" regions/countries involved are Chechnya, Ingushetia, Dagestan and Azerbaijan.

(8) An assessment of the humanitarian situation leads to the conclusion that humanitarian actions should be financed by the Community for a period of 15 months.

(9) It is estimated that an amount of EUR 6,000,000 from budget article 23 02 01 of the general budget of the European Communities is necessary to provide humanitarian assistance to improve the humanitarian situation of the victims of the conflict in Chechnya, 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(2), Article 90 of the detailed rules for the implementation of the Financial Regulation determined by Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2342/2002(3), and Article 15 of the internal rules on the implementation of the general budget of the European Communities(4).

(11) In accordance with Articles 17 (2) and 17 (3) of Regulation (EC) No.1257/96, the Humanitarian Aid Committee gave favourable opinions on 23 April 2009.

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 6,000,000 for humanitarian aid Actions for the victims of the Chechnya conflict in the Caucasus by using article 23 02 01 of the 2009 general budget of the European Communities.

2. In accordance with Articles 2 of Council Regulation No.1257/96, the humanitarian Actions under this Decision shall be implemented in the pursuance of the following specific objectives:

To improve the living conditions of people affected by the conflict by providing multi-sectoral assistance. An amount of EUR 3,500,000 is allocated to this specific objective.

To provide protection to Internally Displaced Persons and other vulnerable populations affected by the conflict. An amount of EUR 2,300,000 is allocated to this specific objective.

To enhance the security of humanitarian personnel working in the Northern Caucasus. An amount of EUR 200,000 is allocated to this specific objective.

Article 2

The Commission may, where this is justified by the humanitarian situation, re-allocate the funding levels established for one of the specific objectives set out in Article 1(2) to another objective mentioned therein, provided that the re-allocated amount represents less than 20% of the global amount covered by this Decision and does not exceed EUR 2,000,000.

Article 3

1 The duration for the implementation of this Decision shall be for a maximum period of 15 months, starting on 1 June 2009.

2 Expenditure under this Decision shall be eligible from 1 June 2009.

3 If the Actions envisaged in this Decision are suspended owing to force majeure or comparable circumstances, the period of suspension shall not be taken into account for the calculation of the duration of the implementation of this Decision.

Article 4

1. The Commission shall implement the budget by direct centralised management or by joint management with international organisations.

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 or International organisations

3. Taking account of the specificities of humanitarian aid, the nature of the activities to be undertaken, the specific location constraints and the level of urgency, the activities covered by this Decision may be financed in full in accordance with Article 253 of the Implementing Rules of the Financial Regulation.

Article 5

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

Done at Brussels
For the Commission Member of the Commission

Notes

(1) OJ L 163, 2.7.1996, p. 1-6

(2) OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p.1.

(3) OJ L 357, 31.12.2002, , p.1.

(4) Commission Decision of 5.3.2008, C/2008/773