Sat, 30 Sep 2023

ADEN, Yemen, June 1 (Xinhua) -- Yemen urged international society to fund a UN plan to prevent a huge oil tanker moored off in the Red Sea from a catastrophic oil spill.

The country's state-run Saba news agency reported on Thursday that the urgent call was made by Yemen's permanent representative to the United Nations Abdullah Al-Saadi during a session of the UN's General Assembly held on Wednesday.

In a statement, Al-Saadi said that the Yemeni side alone had been unable to address the oil spill threat and other environmental risks posed by the decaying FSO Safer due to depleted government resources during the eight-year civil war, calling for international financial support for the underfunded UN plan.

FSO Safer is a floating oil storage and offloading vessel that is moored in the Red Sea north of the Houthi-controlled city of Hodeidah in Yemen.

Carrying 1.1 million barrels of oil, the tanker has not undergone necessary maintenance due to the Yemeni war, posing a severe risk of an imminent and catastrophic oil spill.

On Tuesday, the engineering ship "Ndeavor" sailing from Djibouti arrived at the location of the deteriorating oil tanker, the UN office in Yemen confirmed in a statement.

It said that the ship would start working soon to make the super oil tanker safer before the crude oil extraction process begins.

The UN said in March that it had purchased a super oil tanker, named "Nautica," to offload the over one-million-barrel crude oil on FSO Safer.

In April, the UN said it had received firm commitments for 95 million U.S. dollars for the FSO Safer rescue plan, adding it still needs another 34 million dollars to continue the project.

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