The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) announced on Saturday that Saudi Arabia will provide USD10 million to help address the existing threats arising from the Safer oil tanker, which is moored off Yemen’s city of Hodeidah.
In a statement, KSrelief said the Kingdom has always supported the United Nations’ efforts to avoid the economic, humanitarian, and environmental threats posed by the tanker, where an oil spill resulting from further deterioration of the vessel has the potential to cause a major environmental and navigational disaster that would cause widespread damage to the Red Sea.
Fishing communities, international navigation and the delivery by ship of food, fuel and lifesaving supplies to Yemen would 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 major environmental disaster if the oil in the tanker were to leak into the Red Sea. The Safer tanker holds more than one million barrels of oil, and has not been maintained since 2015. Any leak would threaten regional marine life, fisheries, and biodiversity.
KSrelief added that on June 8, which marked the United Nations’ World Ocean Day, concerned parties highlighted the need for urgent collective action to protect the world’s oceans, which are a major global food source and a key factor in facing the climate change challenges.
The Kingdom is following international developments in this regard as part of its broader focus on 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, represented by KSrelief, has held several meetings and discussions with the international community to stress the need to support the operational plan to address the Safer crisis.
The $10 million the Kingdom is providing will support the efforts of UN organizations to develop an effective plan to identify and address the potential threats posed by the Safer tanker.
Saudi Arabia called on the UN to immediately take the necessary actions to prevent an oil leak from the vessel, and to either transfer the oil to a safe place or use it to benefit the Yemeni people.