The Weeknd‘s XO Humanitarian Fund is directing $2.5 million to Gaza, which will pay for the equivalent of more than four million emergency meals for affected civilians. The UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) reports that the money pays for 820 metric tons of food, which could feed more than 173,000 Palestinians for two weeks.
The artist, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye, stepped into the role of Goodwill Ambassador for the WFP initiative in October 2021. He set up his XO Humanitarian Fund with the World Food Program USA, which has raised $5 million to date to provide relief to people who cannot readily access food. He has also donated $1.8 million of his own money to the WFP.
“This conflict has unleashed a humanitarian catastrophe beyond reckoning,” WFP’s director for the Middle East, North Africa and Eastern Europe Region, Corinne Fleischer, said in a statement. “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. Our teams need safe and sustained humanitarian access, and continued support from donors to reach as many people as we can. We thank Abel for this valuable contribution towards the people of Palestine. We hope others will follow Abel’s example and support our efforts.”
The organization reports that Tesfaye’s XO has previously given $2.5 million to provide Ethiopian women and children with emergency food relief. Tesfaye has also pledged to give one dollar from every concert ticket he sells for next year’s After Hours ’til Dawn stadium tour to the XO Humanitarian Fund. He has not yet announced the dates for the tour.
The crisis came with the launch of Israel’s war on the region following Hamas’ bloody attacks on Israeli civilians on Oct. 7. Israeli authorities believe that Hamas killed around 1,200 people in its attack on Oct. 7. More than 2 million Gazans have been displaced, and the death toll is believed to be more than 17,000 casualties in the region.