C(2014) 2728 final
THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION,
Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,
Having regard to Council Decision 2013/759/EU of 12 December 2013 regarding transitional EDF management measures from 1 January 2014 until the entry into force of the 11th European Development Fund1 ('Bridging Facility'), and in particular Article 2 thereof,
Having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No 617/2007 of 14 May 2007 on the implementation of the 10th European Development Fund under the ACP-EC Partnership Agreement2 , and in particular Articles 5.4 and 8 thereof;
(1) A sudden crisis on top of an existing protracted humanitarian crisis erupted in the Republic of South Sudan on 15 December 2013. After a National Liberation Council meeting which failed to reconcile two opposing camps in the ruling Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), violence broke out in the capital Juba and quickly spread to several other states within the country, including Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile. The initial political crisis within the SPLM spilled over into an armed conflict combining historical political rivalries and ethnic confrontations.
(2) The violence has led to massive displacement of the population. More than 700 000 people have been displaced within the country. Nearly a quarter of a million have fled to neighboring countries. The conflict has also led to serious deterioration of the food security situation in the country. Out of the population of 11 million, 7.1 million are expected to be food insecure. Over 3 million could fall into severe food insecurity with the risk of acute malnutrition. According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation, if decisive steps are not taken to tackle the food insecurity, South Sudan may face fully fledged famine as early as in 2015.
(3) In addition, South Sudan is home to over 230 000 refugees from Sudan's conflict affected areas of South Kordofan and Blue Nile. These refugees reside in Upper Nile and Unity states, which are severely affected by the new conflict. The situation in Sudan does not allow return and the present situation in South Sudan compromises severely their security and leaves scarce scope for reintegration
(4) Throughout the country, the scale of protection concerns is grave, whether due to direct violence in areas of active conflict, or lack of viable options for reintegration or return to areas of origin following displacement. Beyond the immediate impact of the violence, conditions are rapidly deteriorating for many communities, even in the states not directly affected by the conflict.
(5) To reach populations in need, aid should be channelled through non-governmental organisations (NGOs) or international organisations including United Nations (UN) agencies. Therefore the European Commission should implement the budget by direct centralised management or by joint or indirect management, as the case may be.
(6) For the purposes of this Decision, the country involved is South Sudan as well as the disputed area of Abyei Administrative Area.
(7) A humanitarian response to the crisis in South Sudan already provided through the Commission Implementing Decision of 3.1.2014 financing humanitarian aid operational priorities from the 2014 general budget of the European Union (ECHO/WWD/BUD/2014/01000) and the Humanitarian Implementation Plan for Sudan and South Sudan (ECHO/-AF/BUD/2014/91000) is deemed insufficient given the magnitude of the needs. It is considered that an additional contribution from the Bridging Facility, composed of uncommitted balances from previous EDFs and from funds decommitted from projects or programmes under those EDFs, is necessary to scale-up the existing response.
(8) 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 18 months.
(9) The use of the Bridging Facility is necessary as all the funds for ACP countries in the general budget are entirely allocated.
(10) It is estimated that an amount of EUR 30 000 000 from the reserve for unforeseen needs (Article 3 (3) of Annex IV to the ACP-EC Partnership Agreement signed in Cotonou on 23 June 20003 , as first amended in Luxembourg on 25 June 20054 and as amended for the second time in Ouagadougou on 22 June 20105 (hereinafter referred to as 'Cotonou Agreement') is necessary to provide humanitarian assistance to populations directly affected by the conflict. In accordance with Article 73 (1) of the Cotonou Agreement assistance operations can be undertaken at the inititaive of the Commission.
(11) Although as a general rule actions funded by this Decision should be co-financed, the Authorising Officer, in accordance with Article 103.3 of the Financial Regulation applicable to the 10th EDF6 , together with Article 277 of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1268/2012 of 29 October 2012 on the rules of application of Regulation No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union (hereinafter referred to as 'the Rules of Application')7 , may agree to the full financing of actions.
(12) The measures provided for in this Decision are in accordance with the opinion of the European Development Fund Committee set up by Article 8 of the Internal Agreement of 17 July 2006.
HAS DECIDED AS FOLLOWS:
1 . In accordance with the objectives and general principles of humanitarian aid, the Commission hereby approves a total amount of EUR 30 000 000 from the Bridging Facility for humanitarian aid actions to ensure an emergency response for the population directly or indirectly affected by the conflict in the Republic of South Sudan.
2 . In accordance with Article 72 of the ACP-EC Partnership Agreement, the principal objective of this Decision is to prevent excess mortality and morbidity among the population directly or indirectly affected by the conflict in South Sudan as well as in the disputed area of Abyei Administrative Area. The humanitarian aid actions shall be implemented in pursuance of the following specific objective:
- To provide a life-saving multi-sectoral response to the population directly or indirectly affected by the conflict.
The full amount of this Decision is allocated to this specific objective.
1 . The period for the implementation of the actions financed under this Decision shall start on 1 April 2014 and shall run for 18 months. Eligible expenditure may be incurred as of 1 February 2014.
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.
1 . As a general rule, actions funded by this Decision should be co-financed.
The Authorising Officer by delegation, in accordance with Article 103.3 of the Financial Regulation applicable to the 10th EDF, together with Article 277 of the Rules of Application applicable to the general budget of the Union, 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 or by international organisations.
3 . The Commission shall implement the budget:
- either by direct centralised management, with non-governmental organisations - or by joint or indirect management, as the case may be, with international organisations that are signatories to the Framework Partnership Agreements (FPA) or the Financial Administrative Framework Agreement with the UN (FAFA) and which were subject to an assessment by the Commission.
The Decision shall take effect on the date of its adoption.
Done at Brussels, 29.4.2014
For the Commission
Member of the Commission