UN Thanks Saudi Arabia for $10m Donation to Rescue Yemen Oil Tanker

The United Nations thanked the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for donating $10 million in order to rescue a decaying Safer oil tanker in Yemen. 

The United Nations aims to defuse a potentially catastrophic environmental issue. If the tanker exploded or leaked into the Red Sea, it would be an environmental disaster. 

The communication officer for the UN Humanitarian Coordinator, Russell Geekie, said that the Saudi donation reduced the funding gap. More funds are further needed to help the UN carry out its plan. 

Geekie said that the UN was grateful to all donors who both contributed or pledged money in order to help, and especially thanked both the United States and Saudi Arabia for their donations. 

The 45-year-old Safer oil tanker has been left abandoned off of Yemen’s western province since 2015. It carries more than 1.1 million barrels of oil. 

In 2015, international engineers fled the country after Houthis seized control of the western province of Hodeidah during their military expansion across Yemen. 

Reports of rust damaging parts of the tanker were confirmed and sparked local and international warnings of a potential major ecological disaster in the Red Sea. Greenpeace made an appeal to the Arab League to join international efforts to raise funds in order to maintain the tanker and prevent a disaster. 

The Yemeni government has repeatedly accused the Houthis of using the oil tanker as a bargaining chip in order to get concessions from the international community. Previously they refused to allow international experts to board the ship in order to assess the damage, and demanded that they receive profits from the cargo on board. 

Analysts and Yemeni officials are calling for more press on the Houthis to facilitate the arrival of UN teams to the vessel. 

Researchers said that despite the looming environmental disaster, the simplest emergency safety measures have not been applied. 

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.