Today: Sunday, 26 September 2021 year

German government to approve financial aid after flooding

German government to approve financial aid after flooding

Germany’s Cabinet expects to put billions into a rebuilding fund aimed at immediate aid for victims of last week’s floods. The size of that won’t be clear until ministers have a better overview of the extent of the damage, Reuters reports.

Wednesday meeting of the Cabinet will decide on a package of aid for victims of floods in Germany, the top officials consider longer-term plans to rebuild devastated areas.

Angela Merkel is expected to approve a package of around 400 million euros, half of which will be covered by the federal government and half by Germany’s state governments. The package is aiming to help people deal with the immediate aftermath of the flooding and repair some of the scaled damage.

The German authorities also expect to put billions into a rebuilding fund, but the size of that will be clear after an overview of the extent of the damage.

German Chancellor has visited the badly damaged town of Bad Muenstereifel on Tuesday. Merkel described the flooding that has devastated parts of Europe as “terrifying” on Sunday after the death toll across the region rose to 188.

“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 and a district of Bavaria was battered by the extreme weather.

At least 170 people were killed in Germany when small rivers swelled quickly into raging torrents after persistent downpours last week, well over half of them in Ahrweiler county, near Bonn. Another 31 died in neighbouring Belgium, bringing the death toll in both countries to 201.