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Saudi Arabia provides $10 mln to confront issues posed by anchored ‘Safer’ oil tanker

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King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) has said that Saudi Arabia will contribute $10 million to address environmental and economic threats that may arise from oil tanker “Safer,” which is anchored off Yemen’s Hodeida, the official Saudi Press Agency reported on Sunday.

KSrelief said in a statement that the Kingdom has always supported the United Nations’ efforts to combat economic, humanitarian, and environmental threats posed by the anchored tanker, which is at risk of causing a major oil spill.

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This has the potential to bring about disastrous environmental and navigational issues that could, in turn, result in widespread damage to the Red Sea coast.

This handout satellite image obtained courtesy of Maxar Technologies on July 19, 2020 shows an overview of the FSO Safer oil tanker on June 19, 2020 off the port of Ras Isa. (File photo: AFP)
This handout satellite image obtained courtesy of Maxar Technologies on July 19, 2020 shows an overview of the FSO Safer oil tanker on June 19, 2020 off the port of Ras Isa. (File photo: AFP)

Fishing communities, international navigation, and deliveries by ship for essential commodities such as fuel and food to Yemen would all be impacted. This would potentially exacerbate the humanitarian situation in Yemen and the region, threatening all countries located on the Red Sea coast.

“The USD 10 million that the Kingdom is providing today will support the efforts of UN organizations to develop an effective plan to identify and address the potential threats posed by the “Safer” tanker,” the KSrelief statement read.

“The Kingdom calls upon the United Nations to immediately take the necessary actions to prevent oil leakage from the tanker, and to either transfer the oil to a safe place or use it to benefit the Yemeni people. The Kingdom also calls on the international community to contribute urgently to support for this initiative in order to prevent a serious environmental disaster from occurring,” it added.

KSrelief stressed that Saudi Arabia has repeatedly warned the international community about the risks and impending environmental disaster posed by the oil tanker in the Red Sea.

The “Safer” tanker contains more than one million barrels of oil, and has not been maintained since 2015.

The humanitarian organization said that it was following international developments regarding the protection of the world’s oceans within the framework of its broader focus upon the preservation of the most important global marine resources and ecosystems.

Read more:

US, Netherlands urge funding to rescue sinking oil ship off Yemen coast: Statement

UN says $144 mln needed to avert oil tanker disaster off Yemen

Greenpeace urges Arab League to act before it’s too late on Yemen’s FSO Safer

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