The Weeknd has announced plans to donate $1million (£723,000) to help hunger relief efforts in Ethiopia as conflict continues in the country.
In November 2020, violence between the regional government and the Federal government in the region of Tigray broke out. Over 1 million people have been displaced by the conflict, with over 4.5million people estimated to be in need.
According to a New York Times report in February, an internal report from the US government said officials in Ethiopia were “leading a systematic campaign of ethnic cleansing” in Tigray. Harvests have been impacted by the fighting, leaving some areas in the region nearing famine.
“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 social media.
“I will be donating $1million to provide 2million meals through the United Nations World Food Program and encourage those who can to please give as well.”
The Weeknd’s parents are both from Ethiopia but immigrated to Canada before the star was born.
Last year, the musician donated to multiple organizations, including $1million to COVID-19 relief efforts, $500,000 (£362k) to racial equality organizations in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and $300,000 (£217k) to an aid fund after an explosion in Beirut.
He was also one of a number of stars who donated signed microphones to a charity sale raising money for youth organization programs that have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Paul McCartney, Billie Eilish, Alanis Morissette, Damon Albarn, Haim and more also donated to the cause.
Elsewhere in The Weeknd news, the artist is one of the latest artists to join in on the music industry’s latest market: NFTs. The musician auctioned off an exclusive collection of music and artwork hosted on Nifty Gateway in a limited auction held on April 3 at 2 p.m. ET.
Duncan Cock-Foster, co-founder of Nifty Gateway, said that “The Weeknd’s entry into the NFT space marks a seminal moment in NFT history. One of the most influential R&B singers of our generation creating in this new medium is huge validation for the entire NFT space.” he added. “We’re thrilled to present this unique, beautiful collection to the world.”
The Weeknd’s The Highlights can be bought here.