Germany Approves $35 Billion in Federal Funds for Flood-Hit Areas

The German government has backed 30 billion euros ($35.16 billion) in federal funding on Wednesday to help rebuild the damage in western and southern Germany following heavy rainfall and flooding in mid-July.

Chancellor Angela Merkel announced at a press briefing that the money will be released by the federal state in a “sign of national solidarity,” and the nation’s 16 federal states have reached an agreement on the relief fund for the regions affected by the storm.

Of the 30 billion euros, 28 billion ($32.82 billion) will be split between the federal government and the states, a government official said. The remaining money will be provided by Berlin for infrastructure projects.

The federal states of Rhineland–Palatinate and North Rhine–Westphalia, in particular, suffered heavy damage last month, when rainfall and floods took many by surprise despite extreme weather warnings.

NTD Photo
A man walks on uplifted blocks of asphalt near damaged houses as wineyards are seen on the hills in the background in Mayschoss, Rhineland–Palatinate, western Germany, on July 21, 2021, after devastating floods hit the region. (Christof Stache/AFP via Getty Images)
NTD Photo
Aerial view shows an area completely destroyed by the floods in the Blessem district of Erftstadt, western Germany, on July 16, 2021. ( Sebastien Bozon /AFP via Getty Images)

More than 180 people died in what was reported as Germany’s worst natural disaster in half a century.

“It is terrifying,” Merkel told residents of the small town of Adenau in the state of Rhineland–Palatinate last month. “The German language can barely describe the devastation that’s taken place.”

The floods damaged more than 150 schools and 200 nurseries in the state of North Rhine–Westphalia alone, where recovery costs are expected to exceed 13 billion euros ($15 billion), said Armin Laschet, the state’s prime minister.

The country in Western Europe aims for parliament in Berlin to vote the package through in September.

Reuters contributed to this report.