The Weeknd branded ‘hero’ as he directs millions of dollars to Gaza #TheWeeknd

metro December 01, 2023 The Weeknd 12
The Weeknd branded ‘hero’ as he directs millions of dollars to Gaza #TheWeeknd

'Finally a celebrity using their wealth for good!'

Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, known professionally as The Weeknd, is sending $2.5million (£1.9mill) in aid to Gaza via his XO Humanitarian Fund. The 33-year-old Blinding Lights singer is providing the equivalent of four million emergency meals to the Gaza Strip amid the Israel-Hamas war , it was announced today. The Canadian is the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Goodwill Ambassador, and from his XO Humanitarian Fund, he is donating the huge sum to help the humanitarian response efforts in Gaza – where more than one million people are on the verge of starvation, according to the UN announcement. ‘We thank Abel for this valuable contribution towards the people of Palestine . We hope others will follow Abel’s example and support our efforts,’ said WFP’s Director for the Middle East, North Africa and Eastern Europe Region, Corinne Fleischer. Abel was appointed with the ambassador title in 2021, and has been supporting the global hunger-relief mission ever since – through personal donations of US$1.8 million (£1.4mill) and further efforts from the XO Humanitarian Fund he established in partnership with World Food Program USA last March. The songwriter’s fund will send 820 metric tons of food parcels that could feed over 173,000 Palestinians for two weeks, as the fighting broke out again today (Friday December 1), marking the end of a week-long truce. To date, the fund has raised $5mill (£3.9mill). It sent the first $2.5mill (£1.9mill) to support emergency food assistance to women and children in Ethiopia – the country Abel’s parents emigrated from. Want to be the first to hear the world’s top stories? Metro.co.uk is now on WhatsApp sending vital updates and top trending stories straight to your phone . Follow us to receive the latest news updates from Metro (Picture: Getty Images) Join the Metro WhatsApp community now for breaking news, juicy showbiz stories and must-watch videos from across our website. Simply click on this link and select ‘Join Chat’. Don’t forget to turn on notifications so you’ll always be the first to hear the latest! In 2024, Abel has also committed to dedicating the equivalent of $1 per concert ticket sold from the global leg of his After Hours ‘til Dawn stadium tour to the XO Humanitarian Fund. Dates are not yet released. Fans praised Abel for his dedication to the humanitarian cause, as one said: ‘Oh Abel Tesfaye, you are a hero!!!!’ While some branded him ‘king’ another said: ‘WE LOVE YOU ABELLLLL.’ ‘Finally a celebrity using their wealth for good!’ commented someone else. This comes as fighting in Gaza resumed today after the seven-day truce between Israel and Hamas expired. 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To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web browser that supports HTML5 video ‘Today, Israeli occupation forces informed all organizations and entities operating at the Rafah border crossing that the entry of aid trucks from the Egyptian side to the Gaza Strip is prohibited, starting from today until further notice,’ Red Crescent said on X, formerly Twitter. ‘This decision exacerbates the suffering of citizens and increases the challenges facing humanitarian and relief organizations in alleviating the hardships of citizens and displaced persons due to the ongoing aggression on the Gaza Strip,’ . More than 1,000 trucks were allowed into the Gaza Strip during the one-week ceasefire. The UN has warned of a ‘human catastrophe’ if conditions are allowed to worsen any further, with many lacking access to clean water, food, medical supplies and other essentials. A UN worker has also said Gaza hospitals are ‘widely overflowing with children and the injured’. Prior to Hamas’ attack on Israel on October 7 which sparked the current war, Gaza was already under a 16-year-long Israeli blockade, backed by Egypt. Israel says the blockade – which limits some goods being imported – is needed to prevent Hamas from building weapons. Since the October attack, the retaliatory Israeli bombardment has battered the Gaza strip and its 2.2million occupants. The UN agency that aids Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, estimated in October that half a million Gazans had been unable to access food rations as distribution centres shut. Got a story? If you’ve got a celebrity story, video or Read more


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