'Heartless' crooner The Weeknd to donate $1mn to conflict-ridden Ethiopia
Grammy award-winning artist The Weeknd has announced he would be donating $1 million "to provide 2 million meals" to those affected by the violence in Tigray region, Ethiopia. Taking to his social media handles, the singer-songwriter said that he would be donating the sum through the UN World Food Programme. Ethiopia has seen raging violence for months now, which has led to numerous deaths.
The Canadian crooner, whose parents hail from Ethiopia, wrote, "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." "I will be donating $1 million to provide 2 million meals through the United Nations World Food Programme," he added.
The Weeknd, whose real name is Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, also encouraged "those who can to please give as well," while sharing the donation link. According to the United Nations, the World Food Programme (WFP) has started providing emergency food assistance to vulnerable people in Tigray. As per its estimations, WFP will need around $170 million to meet nutritional demands over the next six months.
Tigray has been at the center of a conflict since last year when Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed ordered a military offensive against the regional ruling party on November 4. According to reported data, the war has caused thousands of civilian deaths, cases of gender-based violence, more than two million people getting displaced and tens of thousands of refugees fleeing to neighboring Sudan.
Ahmed, who belongs to the Oromo ethnic group, has been at odds with the ruling party in Tigray, the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), ever since he came to power in 2018. The November offensive was ordered after Ahmed alleged that TPLF had attacked a federal military base. The UN announced a human rights investigation into the alleged Tigray rights violations on March 25.