UN Cites $20b Cost for Yemen Oil Spill Cleanup

The United Nations (UN) warned on Monday that cleaning up an oil spill in the case of the “imminent” break-up of an oil tanker abandoned near Yemen would cost $20 billion.

UN humanitarian coordinator for Yemen David Gressly revealed that these were the recent findings with technical experts indicating that the floating storage and offloading (FSO) Safer “is imminently going to break up”. 

At a media briefing at the UNDP Regional Hub Office in Amman, Gressly, quoted in a report by Jordan Times, noted that the vessel has not had any maintenance “for years”. 

If oil spilled from the ship, it would have a “terrible” impact on the environment, as well as on shipping, tourism, fishing, and the livelihoods of those who are already struggling, according to Gressly.

Gressly warned that the damage could spread to neighboring nations including Saudi Arabia, Djibouti, and Somalia, as well as affect tourism in Egypt and Jordan.

In a tweet, Gressly announced that the Netherlands and the UN will hold a pledging event on May 11 to support the UN-coordinated initiative to confront the threat.

Estimated to cost roughly $80 million, the UN-coordinated plan will address the oil spill threat. 

A big spill, according to the UNDP, would devastate fishing towns along Yemen’s Red Sea coast, where half a million people work in the fishing business and 1.7 million people rely on them.

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