Wednesday, August 10, 2022
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Germany approves $35 bn flood relief fund

The German government launched a relief fund worth 30 billion euros ($35 billion) for the victims of the flood disaster in July, the Federal Ministries of Finance and Interior announced in a joint statement.

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, describing the aid fund as “solidarity in action”.

More than half of the amount, 16 billion euros, will be paid before the end of this year, according to the ministries.

A corresponding draft is scheduled to pass the Bundestag next week, reports Xinhua news agency.

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 precisely 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, adding that cell broadcast supplemented sirens, apps and radio as warning tools.

“If you are woken up at night, you need to know immediately what has happened and how to act,” he added.

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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