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Flood relief in Germany

The flood disaster in July last year left a trail of devastation: more than 180 people lost their lives and thousands lost their homes. Together with the AWO Head association and the AWO regional associations Rheinland, Mittelrhein, Niederrhein and Westliches Westfalen, AWO International was active in the acute phase and supports the people even after the flood.

4 AWO employees and volunteers are standing in front of a white bus. The bus is marked "AWO Hochwasserhilfe" (AWO flood relief).
Immediately after the flood disaster, the driving service in Schleiden-Gemünd started its work and has since been coordinated by Detlef Fassbender (left) on a voluntary basis.

Phase 1: Rapid assistance on site

In the days and weeks following the flood disaster, many AWO institutions released staff from work so they could help on the ground. On 17th July already, a transport service was set up in Schleiden-Gemünd for those affected. This was only possible because there were so many volunteers involved. In addition, fan heaters from the AWO regional association in Saxony-Anhalt were brought to Rhineland. Those were already bought in 2013 when the Elbe floods took place.  

From the beginning of August 2021 until the end of February 2022, the volunteers as well as those affected also received psychological support via the free "flood help hotline", which is run by awo lifebalance. "Having someone at the other end of the line who is taking time and has a professional background in psychotherapy helps a lot“ explains psychologist Dr Christiane Schönknecht, who ran the service.

At the same time, the preparations and disbursements of emergency aid to those affected in Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia began. Since August 2021, we have been able to disburse over 12 million euros emergency aid to more than 7,500 households. All emergency aid is reconciled with the Phoenix database so there are no double payments.

Phase 2: Counselling services and psychosocial support

In the second phase of our flood relief programme we focused on creating long-term counselling structures and expanding psychosocial support services. In eight flood relief offices in Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia as well as through mobile teams, we supported those affected. We helped in applying for state budget and reconstruction aid and paid out our own emergency and individual aid. In addition, various leisure and recreation offers took placein order to bring some "normality" back into the everyday lives of those affected:

  • Offers for children and young people, e.g. childcare, holiday camps, ice disco, alpaca hike, recreation day
  • Support for two winter meetingpoints in the Ahrtal: distribution of free hot meals (November 2021 to April 2022)
  • Expansion of psychosocial counselling: online self-help groups, trauma education for families and coaching for childcare workers.

Phase 3: Reconstruction support

While the measures from phase 2 are being continued, we are now increasingly helping affected households with reconstruction work.

One focus is on individual financial assistance for those affected in North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate. Together with donations from Aktion Deutschland Hilft, we are helping flood-affected people in North Rhine-Westphalia, for example, to pay the 20 percent share of state reconstruction aid. In addition, costs for household goods that are not covered by government agencies and insurance companies can be covered by donations. 

Flood-affected people who are interested in funding - even if they are unsure whether they meet the criteria - are always welcome to contact the relevant district association or the AWO flood offices on site. 


AWO flood relief: flood offices and contact persons

Dreikaiserweg 4, 56068 Koblenz
Phone: 0261 3006 – 190     
E-Mail: hochwasserhilfeprotect me ?!awo-rheinlandprotect me ?!.de  
More Information on the AWO Flood relief in Rhineland-Palatinate can be found here

"AWO AnsprechBar" - Counselling in the container in Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler:

Our "AWO Ansprechbar" (Kurgartenstraße, 53474 Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler) serves as the first point of contact for those affected by the flood disaster when advice is needed. Offers on site: Assistance with applications, home visits, general support, technical support (laptop with internet access, printer, copier & scanner).

Rhonestraße 2a, 50765 Köln
Phone: 0221-579980         
Email: hochwasserhilfeprotect me ?!awo-mittelrheinprotect me ?!.de       
More information can be found here

Schleiden-Gemünd: Aid centre Schleidener Tal

Kölner Str. 10, 53937 Schleiden-Gemünd 
Phone: 0172 257 14 47

Eschweiler: AWO municipal association Aachen-Land

Gutenbergstraße 52, 52249 Eschweiler 
Phone: 0177 878 96 74 or 0177 878 98 73 

Kronenstraße 63-69, 44139 Dortmund
Phone: 0231 340 399-0         
Email: hochwasserhilfeprotect me ?!awo-ha-mkprotect me ?!.de    
More information can be found here

Flood-relief office Hagen

Grabenstraße 13, 58095 Hagen 
Phone: 02331/340990

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