New York, September 22 (QNA) - The United Nations announced on Thursday that the salvage of the ageing supertanker FSO 'Safer', off the Yemeni coast, can now begin, after it announced that more than USD 75 million has been pledged to carry out the vital operation.
Once the pledges are fully converted into cash for the initial salvage operation, with more than USD 77 million promised from 17 countries, an extra USD 38 million was still needed for phase two - the installation of safe replacement capacity to secure the one million barrels of oil on board, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen David Gressly briefed journalists at UN Headquarters in New York.
The rusting vessel has been anchored just a few miles off the Yemeni coast for more than 30 years, but offloading and maintenance stopped in 2015 following the start of the war in Yemen, between a Saudi-led coalition backing the internationally-recognized Government, and Houthi rebels.
Fears have grown that unless vessel is secured, it could break apart causing a devastating oil spill and other environmental damage, which the UN estimates would cost at least USD 20 billion just to clear up, as well as devastate the fragile economy of war-torn Yemen - triggering a humanitarian catastrophe.
The Humanitarian Coordinator reminded what was at stake if action is not taken, indicating that a major spill would devastate fishing communities on Yemen's Red Sea coast. The Yemeni ports of Hudaydah and Saleef could be closed, which are essential to bring in food for around 19 million who need assistance. (QNA)
22 September 2022
UN Secures $75 Million to Start Tanker 'Safer' Rescue Operation
General, International, United Nations
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