UPDATE: The Weeknd Donates $1 Million to Relief Efforts in Ethiopia

The Weeknd, born Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, is the child of two Ethiopian parents who immigrated to Canada. (Photo: The Weeknd performs during the Pepsi Super Bowl LV Halftime Show at Raymond James Stadium on February 07, 2021 in Tampa, Florida/Getty Images)


The Weeknd announced Sunday that he would donate $1 million to relief efforts in Ethiopia, where an ongoing conflict between the government and the Tigray region has resulted in thousands of deaths and over a million displaced people.

“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,” Abel Tesfaye, the Toronto-born son of two Ethiopian immigrants, wrote Sunday on Instagram.

“I will be donating $1 million to provide 2 million meals through the United Nations World Food Program and encourage those who can to please give as well,” providing a link for his fans to contribute.

“The outbreak of conflict in Tigray last November coincided with the peak harvest period, leading to lost employment and incomes, disrupted markets, a rise in food prices, and limited access to cash and fuel,” the U.N. World Food Programme said, adding that they aim “to support 1.4 million of these vulnerable people before it’s too late.”

In June 2020, during the coronavirus pandemic, the Weeknd donated $1 million in Covid-19 relief, with $500,000 going to MusiCares and $500,000 to an Ontario, Canada hospital. Two months later, Tesfaye also gave $300,000 to a fund helping those impacted by the devastating explosion in Beirut, Lebanon.


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