The Weeknd will donate $1 million towards relief efforts in Ethiopia.
The “Heartless” singer announced the news in an April 4 Instagram post, which detailed how he plans to aid those entangled in the conflict between the government in Addis Ababa and the Tigray region.
“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,” The Weeknd wrote. “I will be donating $1 million to provide 2 million meals through the United Nations World Food Programme and encourage those who can to please give as well.”
An internal report from the United States government claimed that the intention of the conflict, which has killed thousands and left others without homes and basic necessities, was to remove the ethnic Tigrayan population from Ethiopia, per The New York Times. The Ethiopian government strongly denied the accusations of ethnic cleansing.
The cause is personal for The Weeknd, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye: Both of his parents are from Ethiopia. The pair immigrated to Toronto, Canada in the ’80s, where the artist was born and raised.