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Olivia Stock
4 December 2023, 12:49

The Weeknd donates $2.5 Million for emergency meals in Gaza

The donation will fund 820 metric tons of food parcels that could feed more than 173,000 Gazans for two weeks

The weeknd poses in a room filled with hanging lights. He's wearing a red suit and large sunglasses

The Weeknd has donated $2.5 million via his XO Humanitarian Fund to pay for emergency meals in Gaza.

The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) announced the news on Friday (1st December), stating that the artist's donation will fund the equivalent of four million emergency meals for Gazans facing food shortages due to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the besieged territory. The donation will fund 820 metric tons of food parcels that could feed more than 173,000 Gazans for two weeks

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

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

The WFP added that The Weeknd's donation comes at a critical moment in the organisation’s efforts to feed the more than one million Gazans amid Israel's continued bombardment of the territory, which began in the wake of Hamas' attack on 7th October. Since, more than 15,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, including more than 6,150 children. In Israel, the official death toll stands at around 1,200. [Via Al Jazeera]

The Weeknd – real name Abel Tesfaye – was appointed a Goodwill Ambassador for the WFP in October 2021, which he called “a profound honour.” Since then, the singer has reportedly supported the WFP’s global hunger-relief missions with $1.8 million in “personal donations” to date.

Tesfaye has also pledged to give $1 per concert ticket sale from his 2024 After Hours Til Dawn Stadium Tour to the XO Humanitarian Fund. Learn more about The Weeknd’s work with the United Nations’ World Food Programme here.

A large number of musicians and record labels have been releasing music via Bandcamp in an effort to raise funds for charities working to support innocent civilians impacted by the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Find a selection of those here.

Last week, drum & bass collective EQ50 released a new compilation to raise money for charitable projects working inside Palestine. 

Over 4000 musicians recently signed an open letter calling for a ceasefire in Gaza, including electronic music artists and DJs such as Ben UFO, Kode9, Jamz Supernova, Brian Eno, The Blessed Madonna and I. JORDAN.