R&B star The Weeknd has announced that he will be donating one million USD to relief efforts in Ethiopia amid the ongoing conflict between the government in Addis Ababa and the Tigray region.
He took to his Instagram handle to announce his donation on Sunday morning. He even encouraged his followers and fans to take a part in donating and helping the ones in need, in whatever way they can. “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. “I will be donating $1 million to provide 2 million meals through the United Nations World Food Programme and encourage those who can to please give as well.”
Abel’s (The Weeknd’s real name) money will provide the equivalent of 2 million meals for citizens there who have been caught in the middle of the feuding factions and many of them are running out of basic resources such as food. The Weeknd‘s parents immigrated to Canada from Ethiopia. He also grew up speaking Amharic, the language of Ethiopia.
Ethiopia: The Tigray War
Ever since November, when Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed ordered an attack on the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, Ethiopia has been caught up in a disastrous battle. The PM accused them of attacking a government military base and attempting to steal weapons and artillery. All this came to a head after tensions had been brewing between the two groups for quite some time, and as the country had been fully attempting to transition into a democratic system of government.
This has caused the poor people of Tigray to suffer immensely, with many people either fleeing the violence, or dying away of hunger.
The Weeknd: Other donations made by The Weeknd
Previously as well, the singer has extended a helping hand for other humanitarian causes. In June 2020, he donated $1 million to COVID-19 relief, giving $500,000 each to MusiCares and the front-line hospital workers of Scarborough Health Network in his hometown. Around the same time, he also donted another $500,000 to the racial justice causes Black Lives Matter, National Bailout and Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights camp. In August 2020, The Weeknd also donated $300,000 to Global Aid for Lebanon to help those affected by the Beirut explosion.
The Weeknd boycotting the Grammys
Last month, the singer made quite the headlines after he decided to boycott The Recording Academy for being unfair to deserving artists. The Weeknd demanded that his record label will no longer submit any of his music for further Grammy consideration after his After Hours album was completely snubbed by the Recording Academy.