Merkel promises quick financial aid for flood victims

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BERLIN – German Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged quick and unbureaucratic financial support on Tuesday for victims of last week’s devastating floods.

Merkel said her Cabinet will approve a financial aid package Wednesday during a news conference in Bad Munstereifel, one of the worst-hit towns in the flooded regions.

“We will do everything to ensure that people will quickly receive money,” she said, adding that the federal government and states will contribute to relief and reconstruction after the disaster.

Public broadcaster ARD reported that the amount of the emergency aid will be €400 million ($470 million).

Germany’s worst flooding in decades has claimed 165 lives and caused widespread devastation in the western states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate.

Tens of thousands of people are still without power and clean water in the flood-hit villages and small towns.