Ottawa – Canada is deeply concerned by the imminent environmental risks and potential humanitarian impacts posed by the FSO Safer, a tanker anchored in the waters off Yemen’s Red Sea coast. The FSO Safer is a floating storage and offloading vessel which holds 1.1 million barrels of crude oil and is in an advanced state of decay, posing the risk of a major oil spill.
Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada, today announced that Canada is providing $2.5 million in funding to the United Nations Development Programme to support the urgent international salvage operation of the FSO Safer, which is being coordinated by the United Nations.
The salvage operation consists of 2 processes occurring at the same time. One is the temporary ship-to-ship transfer of the FSO Safer’s cargo of crude oil into a replacement tanker and the other involves finding a permanent solution for replacing the FSO Safer.
“Canada is supporting UN-led efforts to prevent a catastrophic spill. The potential consequences would be devastating not only environmentally, but would also destroy livelihoods and force closures of ports Hodeidah and Saleef in Yemen, which support the delivery of critical humanitarian assistance including shelter, food, water and health care.” – Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada