The Weeknd has donated $1 million in food aid to Ethiopia. The artist, who was born in Canada to Ethiopian immigrant parents, labelled the conflict in the country’s Tigray region "senseless" in a message announcing the donation.
Armed conflict first broke out between the regional government and the Federal government in northern Ethiopia in Tigray in November 2020. The conflict has left over 1 million people displaced and more than 4 million in need.
“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,” The Weeknd wrote 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.”
The Weeknd has a history of making large donations to causes close to his heart. In 2020 he handed over $1m to aid coronavirus relief, $500,000 to combating racial inequality and $300,000 for victims of the port explosion in Beirut.