Floods in Germany: the government gives the green light to 30 billion euros for the victims


Finance Minister and Vice-Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced the plan on September 1, saying solidarity in times of need is “what makes our country strong and worth living in”. The 2021 Development Assistance Fund will distribute money for reconstruction, with the particular aim of creating new structures that are less susceptible to flooding, Scholz said. Most of the funds will go to the states of Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia, where the damage has been most severe.

More than 180 people in Germany have lost their lives after weeks of heavy rains made worse by climate change that caused rivers to overflow, washing away roads and buildings and causing others to collapse or render them unusable. Mudslides blanketed long stretches of railroad tracks and tens of thousands of people were left without power. Subsequently, the German weather service said some cities in western Germany experienced their highest levels of rain in more than 100 years.

Who receives the money?

The disaster relief fund would reimburse worst-affected cities, homeowners, businesses and other institutions up to 80% of the cost of the damage, the government said, with full coverage for those who may show “hardship.” more serious “. Scholz did not specify how soon the money would be made available, and the plan still requires final approval from the Bundesrat, the upper house of the German parliament.

On September 1, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier declared “at the time of need, we are a strong and united nation. We are united ”. Steinmeier spoke from the Nürburgring racetrack, which is located in the same neighborhood as some of the hardest-hit towns along the Ahr River. The famous attraction had been converted into a base camp for relief and rescue efforts in July.

Scientists have warned that global warming will make extreme weather events such as flash floods increasingly likely over the coming decades. Visiting some of the worst-hit cities just days after the floods, Chancellor Merkel said Germany needed better climate policy to deal with the crises ahead.

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