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Germany approves 400 million euro aid package for victims of deadly floods 

July 21, 2021
Germany has approved a 400 million euros ($235.5) emergency relief package to rebuild Germany's flood-ravaged regions. — Courtesy file photo
Germany has approved a 400 million euros ($235.5) emergency relief package to rebuild Germany's flood-ravaged regions. — Courtesy file photo

BERLIN — Germany has approved a 400 million euros ($235.5) emergency relief package to rebuild Germany's flood-ravaged regions.

After the Cabinet meeting, which was convened by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said that the federal government approved the proposed funding to help people deal with the immediate aftermath of the flooding and will be expanded if needed.

"We will do what is necessary to help everyone immediately," he said.

The worst flooding in living memory killed at least 169 in Germany late last week. And including numbers from neighboring Belgium and the Netherlands, the death toll rises to over 200.

The damage caused by the torrential rains shocked officials and left residents reeling as they seek to rebuild their lives.

German news agency dpa had earlier reported that an initial relief package of 400 million euros was expected, with half coming from the federal government and the rest from state governments.

Later on, a much larger package worth billions to rebuild essential infrastructure is anticipated. While the damage is still being assessed, it is believed the damage to roads and rail networks will tally up to be at least 2 billion euros.

Visiting the badly damaged town of Bad Muenstereifel on Tuesday, Chancellor Angela Merkel said that "we will do everything ... so that the money comes quickly to people who often have nothing left but the clothes on their backs."

"I hope this is a question of days," she added. As for the long-term reconstruction effort, she said, restoring infrastructure "will take more than a few months", pointing to the many bridges destroyed. — Agencies


July 21, 2021
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