The Weeknd has directed $2.5 million, via his XO Humanitarian Fund, to pay for four million emergency meals for Gazans facing food shortages and starvation due to the Israel-Hamas war. The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) announced the news today, stating that the donation will fund 820 metric tons of food parcels that is said to be able to feed more than 173,000 Palestinians for a span of two weeks.
Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye was appointed a Goodwill Ambassador for the WFP in October 2021. Since then, he has supported the WFP’s global hunger-relief mission by sending emergency food assistance to women and children in Ethiopia. Next year, the Weeknd plans to dedicate the equivalent of $1 per concert ticket sale from his After Hours Til Dawn Tour to the XO Humanitarian Fund.
Numerous musicians have called for a cease-fire in Gaza since the Israel-Hamas war broke out on October 7. One open letter penned in late October was signed by Caroline Polachek, Dua Lipa, Run the Jewels, Michael Stipe, and several others. Another letter, released November 21, featured signatures from Pulp, Bikini Kill, Kid Cudi, Kali Uchis, Zack de la Rocha, Tom Morello, Lucy Dacus, Brian Eno, and many more, all under the collective title Musicians for Palestine.
During Tyler, the Creator’s Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival last month, rapper Redveil called for a cease-fire on stage as names of children killed in Gaza were projected on a screen behind him.
A cease-fire between Israel and Hamas commenced on November 24. The truce expired early this morning.