UN Launches Crowdfunding Campaign In Millions To Prevent Major Disaster From Decaying Oil Tanker

The aim is to raise funds to start about $80 million in emergency operations to transport oil from the FSO Safer to a temporary ship.

The FSO Safer is moored off the Red Sea coast in Yemen. It holds oil that measures more than one million barrels. The tanker cannot be repaired, and the fear is that it may explode or break apart at any time.

At about 376 meters long, it is one of the world’s largest tankers. It can hold nearly four times the crude oil that had been spilled in the Exxon Valdez disaster in 1989.

The Safer has been anchored a few miles off the Yemen coast for over 30 years, but the war between Houthi rebels and the pro-Government coalition saw offloading from the ship, as well as maintenance, grind to a pause back in 2015.

Oil Tanker
Image for representation purpose only

Funding shortfall

The UN is all set to implement an emergency rescue operation. However, it is getting delayed due to insufficient funding needed to execute the transfer operation.

About three-quarters of the money required has been gathered, following the declaration of a $10 million pledge made this week by Saudi Arabia. The US is working toward a $10 million contribution.

David Gressly, the Humanitarian Coordinator of the UN in Yemen, launched a crowdfunding campaign to encourage people to contribute toward raising at least $5 million via individual donations by the month’s end so that work can get started in July.

The transfer operation is a two-track plan. Its overall cost is about $144 million, which involves the installation of another replacement vessel in place of the FSO Safer.
The Roads proposal

Meanwhile, the UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Hans Grundberg, continues engagement owing to the recent extension of the two-month-long truce between the Houthi and Government rebels.

The envoy had paid a visit to the Houthi stronghold Sana’a to discuss pressing issues, including the proposal for the phased reopening of roads in Taiz, as well as some other governorates.

The UN proposal considers several concerns that are expressed by both sides in discussions that had begun in Amman, last month.

Mr. Grundberg is expecting a response from Sana’a on the same proposal.

The opening of roads is a measure taken to alleviate the suffering of the Yemenis, as well as trying to establish normalization and facilitate freedom of movement for the civilians there, Stéphane Dujarric a UN Spokesperson informed New York-based journalists.

References: The Guardian, UN News

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