The Weeknd's XO Humanitarian Fund Donates $2.5 Million for Emergency Meals in Gaza

Photo: Brian Ziff

BY Kaelen BellPublished Dec 1, 2023

The Weeknd has donated the equivalent of four million emergency meals to Gazans who are at risk of starvation due to severe food shortages amid the ongoing Israel–Hamas war, in which more than 15,000 Palestinans have been killed, including more than 6,000 Palestinian children.

Abel Tesfaye has directed $2.5 million USD via his XO Humanitarian Fund, as announced by the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) today. The WFP stated that the donation will provide 820 metric tons of food parcels, enough to feed more than 173,000 Palestinians for two weeks. The parcels include things like fresh bread, canned food, pasta and more.

"This conflict has unleashed a humanitarian catastrophe beyond reckoning," Corinne Fleischer, WFP's Director for the Middle East, North Africa and Eastern Europe Region, wrote in a statement. "WFP is working round the clock to provide aid in Gaza but a major scale up is needed to address the desperate level of hunger we are seeing. Our teams need safe and sustained humanitarian access, and continued support from donors to reach as many people as we can. We thank Abel for this valuable contribution towards the people of Palestine. We hope others will follow Abel's example and support our efforts."

Tesfaye was appointed a Goodwill Ambassador for the WFP in October 2021, and he's supported the program's global hunger relief mission by sending food assistance to women and children in Ethiopia. Next year, he's set to donate the equivalent of $1 per concert ticket sale from his After Hours Til Dawn Tour to the XO Humanitarian Fund.

Since the war broke out on October 7, many musicians have called for a ceasefire in Gaza. Open letters written in October and November were signed by Caroline Polachek, Dua Lipa, Run the Jewels, Michael Stipe, Bikini Kill, Pulp, Kid Cudi, Kali Uchis, Tom Morello, Lucy Dacus, Brian Eno and more. 

Latest Coverage