canadian singer, the weeknd donates $1m for food relief to ethiopia's civil unrest.
byApril 13, 2021
Canadian and Grammy award-winning pop star The Weeknd has donated $1M to assist in food aid to his currently war-torn home country Ethiopia through the UN World Food Program. The singer/songwriter announced on his social media handles, particularly his Instagram and Twitter pages stating,
"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. I will be donating $1M to provide 2 million meals through the United Nations World Food Program and encourage those who can to please give as well."
Thousands of civilians are believed to have been killed, raped, and abused during Ethiopia's five-month-old conflict. According to a report on Aljezeera , victims blame the massacres on fighters belonging to the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA).
OLA is the breakaway armed wing of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), founded in the 1970s to fight for the self-determination of ethnic Oromos. In 2018, promises of political reform by then-newly appointed Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed saw the OLF decriminalized and permitted them to join party politics. But negotiations with the armed wing eventually soured, and the OLA splintered from the political organization and resumed fighting.
This is not the first time the Canadian singer has donated to worthy causes, though. In 2020, he made a series of significant donations to different causes: $1M for Coronavirus relief, $500,000 to organizations fighting racial inequality following George Floyd's killing in May 2020, and $300,000 for victims of the port explosion in Beirut that killed over 200 people.