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A Lil’ Positivity: The Weeknd Donates $1 Million To Ethiopia Amid Civil Unrest

The Weeknd is giving back once again, this time, to the people of Ethiopia amid civil unrest in the country.

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To help those affected by the ongoing crisis in his native Ethiopia, The Weeknd–full name Abel Makkonen Tesfaye–is donating $1 million.

Since November, the country has been locked in an internal conflict. This comes after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed ordered a military offensive on the region’s ruling party–the Tigray People’s Liberation–after the group took over an army base. According to the UN, fighting between the government and regional forces has cost the country thousands of lives and displaced almost two million people.

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On Sunday, April 4, the “Blinding Lights” singer announced that he is partnering with World Food Program USA to provide the equivalent of two million meals to citizens of 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,” he 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.”

In a statement, the UN World Food Programme revealed that the pandemic combined with the social and political unrest spawned by the conflict has left millions of Ethiopian citizens in desperate need of food and “life-saving” assistance.

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The Programme reported that millions of “incomes were lost, markets were disrupted, food prices rose, and access to cash and fuel became very difficult,” as the fight within the region continues.

The UN added that the country “urgently needs $170 million to meet critical food and nutrition needs over the next six months.”

The Weeknd’s philanthropic efforts in Ethiopia are nothing new.  Last summer, he donated $2 million to humanitarian causes, with $1 million going to COVID-19 relief, $500,000 to Black Lives Matter, $300,000 to Global Aid in Lebonan, and $200,000 to Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights.

Good on you, Abel.

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