The Weeknd has directed $2.5million (£1.9million) to pay for four million emergency meals in Gaza.
Yesterday (November 1), the UN announced that the Canadian musician was sending the hefty donation through his XO Humanitarian Fund. The money will fund 820 metric tons of food parcels, which the UN claimed could feed more than 173,000 Palestinians for two weeks.
As of December 1, the conflict has taken the lives of more than 15,000 Palestinians and 1,200 Israelis have been killed in Gaza since October 7, according to Al Jazeera. On October 9, Israel announced a “total” blockade on Palestine, preventing the entry of food and fuel in Gaza.
The Weeknd was appointed a Goodwill Ambassador for the World Food Programme in 2021, which he called “a profound honour”. “This is such a profound honour because it’s about getting the opportunity to help an entire country and tens of millions of people around the world who are suffering from extreme hunger.” The UN has claimed the musician has made “personal donations” of $1.8million and raised $5million through his XO Humanitarian Fund.
He is also planning to dedicate the equivalent of $1 per ticket sale from his After Hours Til Dawn Tour to the XO Humanitarian Fund.
Numerous musicians have called for action to end the Israel-Hamas war. Earlier this month, Macklemore called the conflict a “genocide” at a pro-Palestine rally, and joined Dua Lipa, Killer Mike, Michael Stipe and more in demanding “an immediate de-escalation and ceasefire in Gaza and Israel” in an open letter to President Biden.
In other news, The Weeknd recently announced the postponement of the Australia and New Zealand stadium tour. The singer was due to commence in Brisbane on November 20, but announced the shows would be rescheduled due to “unforeseen circumstances”.
Meanwhile, an AI-generated collaboration featuring vocals mimicking Drake and The Weeknd was recently ruled out of being eligible for Grammy consideration.