Lidl and Kaufland owner Schwarz Group has announced a donation of €10 million in 'immediate support' to areas of Germany affected by last week's severe flooding.
The group has donated the sum to Aktion Deutschland Hilft, a Bonn-based organisation that combines various German aid agencies, with funds going to support those affected in the North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate regions.
'One Of Germany's Greatest Catastrophes'
"We are experiencing one of the greatest catastrophes that Germany has ever had to deal with," Schwarz Group said in a statement. "The extent and magnitude of the damage caused by the floods are not yet foreseeable.
"It is all the more important for us to make a contribution so that help can be provided quickly where it is needed most urgently at the moment. That is why we decided to support Aktion Deutschland Hilft."
Penny Starts Donation Campaign
Elsewhere, REWE Group-owned retailer Penny has announced that from this Wednesday (21 July), it will be starting a donation campaign, whereby shoppers at its stores can make a contribution to the DRK-Flood Aid organisation.
Each contribution has a nominal value of €5, with Penny agreeing to increase each donation to €15.
"Many people lost everything in the floods," commented Stefan Magel, chief operating officer, Penny. "Together with our customers, we are establishing a sign of solidarity, cohesion and compassion with our customers."
According to Aktion Deutschland Hilft, many of those affected by the flooding still face an uncertain wait as to whether they can return to their homes, or as to the whereabouts of their loved ones.
"In addition to the immense economic damage, those affected are particularly worried about friends and family, the uncertainty about their whereabouts and a feeling of powerlessness in the face of this unexpected disaster," said Manuela Roßbach, managing director of Aktion Deutschland Hilft. "Many people will not be able to return to their houses and apartments."
Climate Change Impact
On Friday, environmental protection body Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) said that the flooding disaster follows on from 'decades' of delays by authorities in establishing suitable flood protection initiatives, with unpredictable weather resulting from climate change.
"The pictures of flooded houses and the reports of firefighters drowned in action are shocking and should finally shake up the politically responsible," said Sascha Müller-Kraenner, federal managing director, DUH. "Science has been warning of the consequences of the climate crisis for decades." [Main picture from Aktion Deutschland Hilft]