RIYADH: Saudi Arabia offered a $10 million contribution to confront the threat posed on the Safer oil tanker off the coast of Yemen, the government’s aid body, KSRelief, announced on Sunday.
Saudi Arabia has always supported the efforts of the United Nations to confront and avoid the potential economic, humanitarian and environmental threats that the oil tanker could cause, KSRelief said.
An oil spill could cause a major environmental and navigational disaster that threatens the Red Sea coast, fishing communities, international navigation and the entry of food and fuel, and life-saving supplies to Yemen, KSRelief warned.
This would exacerbate the humanitarian situation and threaten the countries bordering the Red Sea, the aid body said.
Saudi Arabia has warned that if oil leaks from the Safer tanker, which contains more than one million barrels and has not been maintained since 2015, the world will witness the largest environmental disaster that threatens underwater life, fisheries and biodiversity as a result of the oil spill.
The decaying ship is thought to have around 1.14 million barrels stored aboard in total, and has been left to rust for six years amid the Yemeni civil war, after it was converted into a floating storage facility.
The necessity of activating collective action to protect the oceans was highlighted during the commemoration of the United Nations World Oceans Day, on June 8, the KSRelief statement said.
“The oceans are one of the main sources of food and the biggest ally in the face of climate change, and the Kingdom is following international developments in this regard within the framework of conserving the most important marine resources and ecosystems,” the statement said.
According to KSRelief, several meetings and discussions were held with the international community to support the rescue plan of the Safer tanker, and support the efforts of the UN to find the appropriate plan to neutralize the potential danger.
Saudi Arabia also called on the UN to take the necessary measures to ensure the prevention of oil leakage and transfer it to a safe place.