David GresslyThe UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen, briefed journalists at UN Headquarters in New York, following an event on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly led by partners in the elephant rescue effort. mammoth is the Netherlands, USA and Germany co-hosted.
The rusty ship had been anchored just a few miles off the coast of Yemen for more than 30 years, but unloading and maintenance stopped in 2015 after the start of war in Yemen, amid a coalition led by Saudi Arabia. The leader is in favor of the internationally recognized government, and the Houthis.
It was feared that if the ship was not secured, it could break apart causing a catastrophic oil spill and other environmental damage, which the United Nations estimates will result. spend at least 20 billion dollars just for clearanceas well as wreaking havoc on the fragile economy of war-torn Yemen – causing a humanitarian catastrophe.
$38 billion needed for phase two
Mr. Gressly said that once the mortgages were fully converted to cash for the initial salvage operation, with more than $77 million promised from 17 countries, another $38 billion still needed for phase two – the installation of safe interchangeability to secure one million barrels of oil on board.
The resident coordinator said the UN plan is to safely transfer the oil to a two-hull vessel, as a long-term storage solution, until the political situation allows the oil to be sold or shipped elsewhere. .
Mr. Gressly said that in addition to 17 national partners, The private sector, philanthropic foundations and a “very successful” crowdfunding initiative launched in June were also instrumental in achieving the “major milestone” on Wednesday..
Donations big and small
About 2,000 individuals have generously contributed, and he praises the $1.2 million private sector grant from the Yemeni HSA consortium.
Among those who helped raise money for the operation was a group of six children from an elementary school in the US state of Maryland.he said, who has realized that keeping tankers safe and avoiding disaster, is “a common problem for all of us.”
While more than $30 million is still needed for phase two, “I believe with the momentum we’ve seen today, that should be a goal we can achieve in time,” he said.
He praised the warring parties for reaching a political agreement to allow the operation to continue, and said the next important step now is to proceed with the salvage, will begin in earnest in a few weeks’ time. After being carried out by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) will process the first stage, which will take about four months to stabilize the tankerbefore oil transfer can take place.
‘The cost of failure’
The Humanitarian Coordinator reminds of what is at stake if action is not taken. A major oil spill would devastate fishing communities on Yemen’s Red Sea coast, and affect Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia and other countries. The Yemeni ports of Hudaydah and Saleef could be closed, which is essential to food for some 19 million people in need.
The United Nations warned that tens of millions of dollars today could save tens of billions of dollars in the future.
“Everybody understands the cost, everyone understands the impact and everyone wants to act. I am very pleased to see the unified effort today, to find a solution”Mr. Gressly said.