Almost a week after the flood disaster began, the federal cabinet launched emergency aid worth millions.

According to the decision on Wednesday, the federal government is contributing half of the aid from the federal states with up to 200 million euros.

A total of up to 400 million euros would therefore be available.

Federal Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) underlined on Wednesday that the federal government may also make more money available.

"That is the mute we are starting from now," said the SPD candidate for chancellor. "But if it is the case that more is needed, then it is the case that we also make more money available." The development aid can also begin. There is no reason to hesitate. The money will be used to repair the worst damage to buildings and communal infrastructure and to bridge special emergencies. Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) said after the decision: "The emergency aid is above all a support for people who have lost all their belongings." The announcements of rapid aid were now followed by deeds.

A construction fund worth billions is also planned. The exact amount should only be decided when the extent of the damage can be better foreseen. After the catastrophe, which has now more than 170 fatalities, Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and Scholz promised quick, unbureaucratic help. Companies and self-employed people who are affected by the flood should also benefit from the corona aid. "We will make use of the hardship fund," announced Scholz. "We are still working on adapting the rules for the hardship fund."

SPD leader Norbert Walter-Borjans welcomes the federal government's decision on emergency flood aid. "Anyone who has been able to get an idea of ​​the extent of the damage and the deep emotional wounds knows how urgent quick help is, which does not unnecessarily burden those affected," he told the Reuters news agency. Finance Minister Olaf Scholz brought an aid package into the cabinet, "which provides the necessary volume for quick first aid". It is now the task of the federal states to ensure that payments are made quickly and smoothly.

In Rhineland-Palatinate, households affected by the flood are to receive emergency aid of up to 3500 euros. "Those affected who have suffered damage to their living space, household effects or clothing receive quick and unbureaucratic help," explains Prime Minister Malu Dreyer. “For each household, the districts and urban districts pay 1,500 euros per household including one person as a base amount and 500 euros for each additional person. A maximum of 3500 euros can be paid out per household. An asset check is not necessary, donations are not taken into account. ”The state will double the amount of emergency aid from the federal government that Rhineland-Palatinate receives.