Spielwarenmesse has set up a fundraiser to help victims of flooding in Germany rebuild their lives, following the devastation that took place in regions of the country this month, taking the lives of at least 170 people.
Sustained heavy rainfall over Germany left a vast number of residential areas completely destroyed, causing damage to infrastructure tipped to be in its billions, and killing at least 171 people, when small rivers swelled rapidly into raging torrents, with well over half of them in Ahrweiler county, near Bonn.
In a bid to help victims, Spielwarenmesse eG has quickly launched an in-house fundraising campaign, giving staff the opportunity to donate. For every Euro given, the company is adding another five to the count. In just a short space of time, some 9,000 Euros was collected last week.
“The support and sympathy shown by our staff and their willingness to donate has been incredible. Our entire team is deeply shocked by the extent of this disaster, and we wanted to make at least a small and unbureaucratic contribution to show our support in their hour of need,” said Christian Ulrich, spokesperson of the Executive Board at Spielwarenmesse eG.
The donation has been made to Aktion Deutschland Hilft – an alliance of several aid organisations including Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund (ASB), CARE Deutschland and Malteser Hilfsdienst. The initiative is currently supporting the rescue, recovery, and clean-up operations on the ground.
Germany’s Cabinet has approved a relief package of roughly 400 million euro (£345.7 million) in immediate aid for victims of the floods and has vowed to get started quickly on rebuilding the devastated areas.
Finance minister Olaf Scholz said that the package, financed half by the federal government and half by Germany’s state governments, to help people deal with the immediate aftermath of the flooding will be expanded if more money is needed.
“We will do what is necessary to help everyone immediately,” he said.
The government also expects to spend billions on rebuilding, but how much exactly will not be clear until authorities have a better overview of the extent of the damage.
Mr Scholz said that reconstruction efforts will get under way without delay.