German Government approves USD 35 billion flood relief fund

The German government launched a relief fund worth USD 35 billion for the victims of the flood disaster in July, the Federal Ministries of Finance and Interior announced in a joint statement. More than half of the amount, 16 billion euros, will be paid before the end of this year, according to the ministries.

The rapid repair of the damage and reconstruction of the destroyed infrastructure were an "immense effort in view of the destruction in the regions affected by heavy rain and flooding" said Olaf Scholz, Minister of Finance, saying the aid fund as "solidarity in action". A corresponding draft is scheduled to pass the Bundestag next week as per reports.

The German government also launched a so-called cell broadcast on Wednesday. According to the Ministry of the Interior, the technology enables warnings to be sent quickly and accurately to all cell phones in a specific area in the event of emergencies and natural disasters.

"Warning the population has to work, on all channels," said Minister of the Interior Horst Seehofer. He said cell broadcast supplemented sirens, apps, and radio as warning tools.

In July, flash floods caused by intense rainfall swept away roads, highways, and even entire houses, with at least 180 people dead in the hardest hit federal states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate.

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