Saudi Arabia offers $ 10 million to confront tanker threats

Riyadh, June 12 (BNA): King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre “KSrelief” announced today that Saudi Arabia will provide $ 10 million to contribute to addressing the threats from the oil tanker "Safer" anchored off the Red Sea coast north of the Yemeni port city of Al Hudaydah.


In a press release, KSrelief said Saudi Arabia has always supported the United Nations’ efforts to avoid the economic, humanitarian, and environmental threats posed by the tanker.


An oil spill resulting from further deterioration of the “Safer” has the potential to cause a major environmental and navigational disaster with widespread damage to the Red Sea coast, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.


Fishing communities, international navigation and the delivery by ship of food, fuel and lifesaving supplies to Yemen would all be impacted, exacerbating the humanitarian situation in the region and threatening all Red Sea countries.


KSrelief stressed that Saudi Arabia has repeatedly warned the international community that the world would face a significant environmental disaster if the oil in the tanker leaked into the Red Sea.


The tanker, containing more than one million barrels of oil, has not been maintained since 2015, and any leakage would threaten regional marine life, fisheries, and biodiversity.


On World Ocean Day on June 8, concerned parties highlighted the need for urgent collective action to protect the world’s oceans, which are a major global food source as well as a key factor in facing the challenges resulting from climate change, KSrelief said.


The Kingdom is following international developments in this regard within the framework of its broader focus upon the preservation of the most important global marine resources and ecosystems.


In order to maintain stability in Yemen and in support of UN efforts to reach solutions to all threats to international peace and security, Saudi Arabia has held several meetings with the international community to stress the need to support the operational plan to address the “Safer” tanker situation.


The meetings also sought to build on the support Saudi Arabia had provided for the maintenance of the vessel.


The $10 million that Saudi Arabia 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 tanker.


In the statement, Saudi Arabia called 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.


Saudi Arabia also called on the international community to urgently support the initiative in order to prevent a serious environmental disaster.




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