THE Weeknd is making a $1 million donation in relief efforts to Ethiopia amid the Tigray crisis.
The ‘Blinding Lights’ singer is making his donation through the United Nations World Food Programme, which will pay for 2 million meals.
Born Abel Tesfaye to Ethiopian Parents in Canada, the singer made the news known on his instagram account, writing that continued civil unrest, loss of life, and thousands of displaced Ethiopians contributed to his decision to make the donation.
He wrote: “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.
“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.”
Tesfaye is also encouraging his fans and those who can to join him in donating through this World Food Programme link.
BBC reported that the civil unrest between the Ethiopian army and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) began in November and has left millions of people homeless.
“The fighting began when Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed sent forces to the Tigray region, after accusing the TPLF of attacking a government military base. The TPLF had been the ruling party in the area, but fell out with Mr Abiy over his efforts to increase the central government’s power”, BBC reported.
The U.N. World Food Programme wrote on its site that the crisis in Ethiopia had 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.
During the first wave of the covid-19 pandemic, The Weeknd made several donations in amounts varying from $500 000 to $1 million to organisations such as Musicares and to a hospital in the Canadian capital of Ontario.