The Weeknd tapped into his humanitarian side on Easter Sunday and announced a partnership with the United Nations World Food Programme. The Grammy award-winning artist will be donating $1 million dollars to provide 2 million meals to citizens of the Tigray Region in Ethiopia.
News of the donation was shared to his Instagram account.
“My heart breaks for my people of Ethiopia as innocent civilians ranging from small children to the elderly are being senselessly murdered and entire villages are being displaced out of fear and destruction,” The Weeknd wrote.
The singer-songwriter ended the post by encouraging those who can donate to do so with the link in his Instagram bio. The Weeknd, whose real name is Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, is the son of Ethiopian immigrants. He was born in Toronto, Canada in 1990.
Last week, during a United Nations briefing, the World Food Programme (WFP) said it needs $170 million to provide citizens with food and nutrition needs throughout the next six months. The Ethiopian government requested support from the WFP for less than half of the 4.5 million people who need it.
Tigray has been experiencing civil unrest and violence for the past five months. According to CNN, back in November 2020, Ethiopia’s Prime Minster Abiy Ahmed alleged that the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) attacked a federal military base. In response, the prime minster ordered attacks on TPLF. Interestingly enough, Prime Minster Abiy Ahmed was the recipient of a 2019 Nobel Peace Prize medal. An investigation into the crimes will be launched by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission, according to a March 25 statement by the United Nations.
“The outbreak of conflict in Tigray last November coincided with the peak harvest period, meaning employment and incomes were lost, markets were disrupted, food prices rose, and access to cash and fuel became very difficult,” said the WFP in the briefing.
Almost two million people have been displaced and thousands are believed to have been killed, raped and abused.
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