On December 1, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) revealed that The Weeknd, also known as Abel Tesfaye, a WFP Goodwill Ambassador, has allocated $2.5 million from his XO Humanitarian Fund to support the WFP’s humanitarian efforts in Gaza. This generous donation, equivalent to four million emergency meals, will facilitate the delivery of 820 metric tons (approximately 1.8 million pounds) of food parcels. These provisions are expected to sustain over 173,000 Palestinians for a two-week period.
The WFP emphasized the urgency of the situation, characterizing the ongoing conflict in Gaza as a humanitarian catastrophe of unprecedented proportions. Corinne Fleischer, WFP’s Director for the Middle East, North Africa, and Eastern Europe Region, highlighted the organization’s continuous efforts to provide aid but stressed the need for a substantial increase in scale to address the severe hunger crisis.
The crisis stemmed from weeks of intense bombardment by Israeli forces in response to an October 7 surprise attack on Israel by the Islamic militant group Hamas. This attack resulted in the tragic death of more than 1,200 Israelis and the abduction of 240 women, children, men, and elderly citizens.
Fleischer underscored the importance of safe and sustained humanitarian access, as well as continued support from donors to maximize the reach of aid efforts. The WFP expressed gratitude to Abel Tesfaye for his significant contribution and hoped that others would follow his example and support their initiatives.
The WFP noted that Tesfaye’s donation comes at a critical juncture in their mission to provide assistance to over one million Gazans facing starvation in the aftermath of the retaliatory measures following the October 7 assault on Israel. During the recently concluded week-long truce between Israel and Hamas, the WFP reached over 121,000 people in Gaza, supplying essential items such as fresh bread, fortified date bars, canned food, wheat flour, pasta, tomato sauce, and oil.
Abel Tesfaye assumed the role of Goodwill Ambassador in October 2021 and has already contributed $1.8 million in personal donations to the WFP’s global hunger relief missions through his XO fund. Additionally, the singer has committed to allocating the equivalent of $1 per concert ticket sold during the 2024 global leg of his After Hours ’til Dawn stadium tour to the XO Humanitarian Fund.