- HSA Group, Yemen’s largest private company, becomes the first private sector organisation to donate to the UN’s appeal
- Funding will go towards the UN’s plan to transfer over one million barrels of crude oil from FSO SAFER and prevent a humanitarian, economic, and ecological disaster in Yemen and the Red Sea region.
HSA Group, Yemen’s largest private company, has today announced a US$ 1.2 million donation to support the United Nations (UN) efforts to avert a major humanitarian, economic, and ecological disaster in the Red Sea. The donation is the first committed by a private sector organisation.
The FSO SAFER oil tanker is one of the world’s largest shipping vessels. Carrying over one million barrels of crude oil, FSO SAFER has been moored off Yemen’s Red Sea coast for over 30 years. The vessel has recently deteriorated beyond repair and could disintegrate or explode at any time, with its oil cargo spilling into the Red Sea.
Video Credits: UN Yemen
HSA Group’s contribution will go towards the UN’s US$ 80 million target to fund an emergency operation to remove the tanker’s oil cargo and safely transfer it to another vessel. To date, the UN has received US$ 64 million in pledges from over a dozen governments. Less than US$ 16 million is now required to help ensure the critical mission can occur.
According to the UN, failure to reach the targeted amount could likely result in a major oil spill in the Red Sea.
A spill on the scale predicted by the UN would result in indispensable global shipping lanes being blocked and some of Yemen’s most critical ports being closed. These port closures would cut off food, fuel, and life-saving supplies from reaching millions of Yemenis who already suffer from the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Additionally, a spill of this magnitude would cause serious, perhaps irreparable, damage to the Red Sea’s marine life and biodiversity. Hundreds of thousands of jobs in the region’s fishing industry would be lost as fish stocks would take around 25 years to recover. This would impact communities across the Red Sea region reliant upon trade and economic activity in the area for their livelihoods.
It is estimated that the cost of a clean-up would be US$20 billion, with the ultimate cost to the global economy many more times that amount.
Nabil Hayel Saeed Anam, Managing Director, HSA Group – Yemen region, said:
“HSA Group is gravely concerned by the impending threat of an oil spill from FSO SAFER.
“A spill on the scale projected by the UN would have a devastating impact on Yemen. It would aggravate the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, threaten millions with starvation, and destroy livelihoods. It would also be an unimaginable ecological catastrophe.
“HSA has closely followed the campaign led by the UN and the generous donations pledged by the international community. Given that there remains a large funding shortfall, and time is running out, HSA believes that the private sector must step forward.
“We are making this contribution to support international efforts to prevent a disaster that would both tip Yemen further into humanitarian and economic crisis and impact the wider Red Sea region, which plays a critical role in the global economy and the world’s biodiversity.
“We hope that this first donation from the private sector may serve to encourage other companies across the world to contribute to the UN’s response and avert this potentially catastrophic crisis.”
Reference: Cision PR Newswire