BERLIN: Germany will pay 400 million euros (USD 470 million) for victims of last week's devastating floods as part of a rapid emergency aid, Minister of Finance Olaf Scholz announced. The worst flooding 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. German Chancellor Angela Merkel met with the Cabinet in Berlin on Wednesday in order to approve an enormous emergency relief package to rebuild Germany's flood-ravaged regions.
It was necessary to quickly send the message to people in the affected areas "that there is a future, that we care together, that this is a matter for us as a whole country, that we are helping", Scholz also the Vice-Chancellor, said in a press conference on Wednesday. North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate were hit particularly hard, with at least 170 people being killed and many still missing. Half of the 400 million euros of rapid aid payments, which could be further extended unbureaucratically, were made available from the federal budget and half from the states.
In addition, after an initial assessment of the damage by the end of July, reconstruction funds for the infrastructure should also be made available in a timely manner, which could probably run into the billions, according to Scholz.