​The Weeknd donates $2.5 million in emergency aid to Gaza

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The Weeknd, real name Abel Tesfaye, has donated $2.5 million in emergency aid to the people of Gaza as a response to the ongoing humanitarian crisis.

Tesfaye, who was appointed the Goodwill Ambassador for The United Nations World Food Programme in October 2021, donated the money via his XO Humanitarian Fund last week.

All money donated will fund emergency meals for those facing crises in Gaza and will provide 820 metric tons of food – or 4 million meals – to those in need. The UN has said that it could feed more than 173,000 Palestinians for up to two weeks.

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It comes almost two months since Israel declared war against the Gaza Strip, which has led to relentless bombardment by the Israel Defence Force (IDF) from land, sea and air, and the siege of Gaza, killing more than 14,500 Palestinians, including over 6,000 children, since October 7.

“This conflict has unleashed a humanitarian catastrophe beyond reckoning,” says WFP’s Director for the Middle East, North Africa and Eastern Europe Region, Corinne Fleischer.

“WFP is working round the clock to provide aid in Gaza but a major scale-up is needed to address the desperate level of hunger we are seeing.”

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“Our teams need safe and sustained humanitarian access and continued support from donors to reach as many people as we can. We thank Abel for this valuable contribution towards the people of Palestine. We hope others will follow Abel’s example and support our efforts.”

Tesfaye has worked as an ambassador for the WFP for more than two years, helping to provide emergency food aid for women and children in Ethiopia, and giving personal donations of around $1.8 million to those in need around the world.

He’s since established his own fund, the XO Humanitarian Fund, vouching to donate $1 per concert ticket sale from his After Hours Til Dawn Tour next year.

In 2020, The Weeknd donated $500,000 to racial justice organisations.

Find a list of ways you can aid the humanitarian crisis in Palestine here.

Gemma Ross is Mixmag’s Assistant Editor, follow her on Twitter

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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