RIYADH, 12th June, 2022 (WAM) — The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSrelief) today announced that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will provide US$10 million to contribute to addressing the existing threats arising from the oil tanker ‘Safer’, which is anchored off the Red Sea coast north of the Yemeni port city of Al Hudaydah.
In a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), KSrelief affirmed that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has always supported the United Nations’ (UN) efforts to avoid the economic, humanitarian, and environmental threats posed by the tanker, where an oil spill resulting from further deterioration of the ‘Safer’ has the potential to cause a major environmental and navigational disaster that would cause widespread damage to the Red Sea coast. 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 in its press release that Saudi Arabia has repeatedly warned the international community that the world would face a significant environmental disaster if the oil in the tanker leak into the Red Sea. The ‘Safer’ tanker contains more than one million barrels of oil, and has not been maintained since 2015, and any leakage would threaten regional marine life, fisheries, and biodiversity.
KSrelief added that on 8th June, 2022, which marked the UN’s “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 as well as a key factor in facing the challenges resulting from climate change. 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, the Kingdom of 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’ tanker situation, and to expand upon support Saudi Arabia has previously provided for maintenance of the vessel.
The US$10 million that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is providing today will support the efforts of UN organisations to develop an effective plan to identify and address the potential threats posed by the ‘Safer’ tanker.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia calls upon the UN 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 calls on the international community to contribute urgently to support for this initiative in order to prevent a serious environmental disaster from occurring.