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Friday, February 16, 2024

The Weeknd contributes $2.5 million to Gaza for urgent meal assistance

In a generous gesture, The Weeknd, acclaimed artist and UN World Food Programme Goodwill Ambassador, extends a lifeline to Gaza with a substantial $2.5 million donation.

UN World Food Programme (WFP) Goodwill Ambassador The Weeknd, also known as Abel Tesfaye, is set to contribute $2.5 million to the Gaza Strip amid severe food shortages resulting from the ongoing conflict. The donation, equivalent to four million emergency meals, will be administered through his XO Humanitarian Fund, according to WFP USA.

Corinne Fleischer, the director for the Middle East, North Africa, and Eastern Europe Region at WFP, emphasized the worsening hunger crisis in Gaza and the urgent need for assistance. Fleischer stated, “This conflict has unleashed a humanitarian catastrophe beyond reckoning. WFP is working round the clock to provide aid in Gaza, but a major scale-up is needed to address the desperate level of hunger we are seeing.”

Read more: WHO issues warning regarding Gaza’s health situation

The director stressed the importance of safe and sustained humanitarian access and continued support from donors. Fleischer expressed gratitude to Abel for his significant contribution and hoped that others would follow his example in supporting WFP’s efforts. The Weeknd became a Goodwill Ambassador in October 2021 and has actively supported WFP’s global hunger-relief mission, with personal donations totaling $1.8 million and contributions from the XO Humanitarian Fund reaching $5 million.

The fund initially allocated $2.5 million to provide emergency food assistance for women and children in Ethiopia, with the second tranche earmarked for the Gaza response. In 2024, The Weeknd has pledged to allocate the equivalent of $1 from every concert ticket sold during his After Hours ’til Dawn stadium tour to the XO Humanitarian Fund.

Read more: US lectures Israel over Gaza war – leaks

On Saturday, Israeli warplanes and artillery bombarded the south of the Gaza Strip, targeting mosques, homes, and near a hospital after the collapse of a truce in the nearly two-month-old conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Residents feared the barrages were a prelude to an Israeli ground operation in the southern part of the Palestinian territory, possibly attempting to push them into neighboring Egypt. The Gaza health ministry reported at least 193 Palestinians killed and 650 wounded since the truce ended on Friday morning, adding to the more than 15,000 Palestinian casualties since the start of the war.