The United States welcomes the news that the UN has begun its operation to prevent a catastrophic oil spill in the Red Sea. Today, experts initiated the process of off-loading 1.14 million barrels of oil from the decaying Safer oil tanker. The oil transfer is a critical step towards averting an economic, environmental, and humanitarian crisis in the Red Sea and beyond.
The United States has been a leading supporter of UN efforts to address the threat posed by the Safer tanker over the last two years. The United States provided $10 million for the operation and continues to provide support to the UN in its implementation of the project. An additional $22 million is needed to complete the operation and address all residual environmental threats posed by the tanker. We urge the international community – including the private sector – to come together to support this critical project.