April 05, 2021
FILE – The Weeknd performs during the halftime show of the NFL Super Bowl 55 football game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, on Feb. 7, 2021, in Tampa, Fla.
By VOA News
Pop star The Weeknd has announced he will be donating $1 million to relief efforts in Ethiopia amid the country’s ongoing conflict in the Tigray region.
A U.N. statement said his donation, the equivalent of 2 million meals, went to World Food Program USA, the U.S. affiliate of the United Nations World Food Program, and will be put towards providing lifesaving food for those affected.
“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,” wrote the Super Bowl half-time singer on Instagram Sunday.
The Weeknd, born Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, is the son of Ethiopian immigrants Makkonen and Samra Tesfaye.
The conflict in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region broke out in November when Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) fighters attacked army bases in the region, prompting Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to launch a military offensive to push the group out.
Since then, thousands of civilians in the region have been killed and hundreds of thousands have been displaced from their homes.
The Ethiopian government now estimates 4.5 million people are in need of emergency food assistance and have asked the U.N. World Food Program to help support 1.4 million.