LOS ANGELES: Singer-songwriter The Weeknd has announced that he is donating USD one million to relief efforts in Ethiopia amid the ongoing conflict between the government in Addis Ababa and the Tigray region of the country.
There are increasing reports of atrocities such as massacres and rapes in the war, and concern is growing about a lack of food and medical care in Tigray, a region of siz million people.
The Grammy-winning artiste, whose real name is Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, said that he will support the relief efforts through the UN World Food Programme.
“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 singer, 31, wrote on Instagram.
“I will be donating $1 million to provide 2 million meals through the United Nations World Food Program and encourage those who can to please give as well,” he added.
The Weeknd’s parents, Makkonen and Samra Tesfay, immigrated to Canada from Ethiopia prior to his birth.
The singer, who was born in Toronto, has always been vocal about his love for his home country and has been a prominent voice against racial discrimination in the entertainment industry and beyond.
Last year, the R&B singer donated USD 250,000 to the Black Lives Matter Network, which advocates for justice and freedom for black people in North America, a movement that garnered public attention after challenging police treatment of minorities.