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Flood Relief in Germany

In June 2013, heavy rainfall caused extreme flooding in the east and south of Germany. The duration and effect of the floods made them one of the most severe natural disasters to occur in the country for decades – causing damage valued at 12 Billion Euro. The states of Thuringia, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Bavaria were particularly affected.

The German Malteser Aid Service was active during the most acute phase of the flooding – furnishing 800 volunteers to help in the affected regions – above all with evacuation. In some villages, the water remained standing for up to three weeks. A countless number of houses were damaged by leaked heating oil and mould – requiring extensive renovation, or even demolition. Even two years on from the floods, many affected people continue to live in houses that resemble construction sites, if they have been able to move back into their homes at all. Psychosocial support for these people is an important consideration.

The main regions affected by the flooding are: Saxonia, Saxonia-Anhalt, Thuringia and Bavaria. Malteser International is supporting the affected people financially – both on a private basis, as well as through financial support for communal facilities, and with the offer of psychosocial counselling. Providing relief after any disaster is a complex matter, however, and experience shows, that many people do not, or cannot, take up the offer of financial support without comprehensive advice. This takes time – meaning that social and psychosocial counselling measures also need to engage with the need to provide more practical and financial advice. Rebuilding is a long-term challenge, and Malteser International expects to be engaged in flood relief in Germany until the end of 2016.

Support people affected by flooding with appropriate financial and psychosocial help to provide a measurable increase in their quality of life.

In addition to providing financial support for rebuilding and underpinning the reconstruction of social services, Malteser International is also working to provide psychosocial support to people affected by the 2013 German floods on a pilot project basis. This includes:

  • Providing professional support to allow affected people to access financial and other aid offered by third parties.
  • Providing comprehensive and professional advice in the form of confidential counselling, help with applications and referral to partner organisations.
  • Providing psychosocial aid in stress relief for affected people.
  • Increasing public awareness of the help on offer through flyers, news articles and the internet.

Our work in pictures

Project data

Project duration: since June 2013
or: ADH - Germany's Relief Coalition, Deutsche Bank Foundation, RTL Foundation, private donations
Partner: Malteser Hilfsdienst e.V.
Malteser International Locations: Cologne, Regensburg, Magdeburg, Dresden

Last updated: January 2016


Conor Heathcote 
+49 (0)221-9822-7102
Email: conor.heathcote(at)malteser-international.org

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