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Food insecurity has plagued countries worldwide, and The Weeknd is stepping up to support vulnerable communities in need. The Grammy Award-winning music artist—whose real name is Abel Makkonen Tesfaye—has joined forces with the United Nations World Food Programme for a new initiative centered on combating global hunger.

The collaborative effort, dubbed the XO Humanitarian Fund, will support food-insecure families in Ethiopia—where Tesfaye’s parents hail from—Afghanistan, Ukraine, and Yemen. The fund will provide resources for communities impacted by famine, food shortages and starvation. Tesfaye has donated $500,000 to the initiative and has pledged to give $1 from each ticket sold for his After Hours Til Dawn Stadium Tour to the fund. The World Food Program USA’s Board of Directors and corporate partners will provide $1 million.

“The goal with this fund is to provide immediate life-saving support to people who are on the brink of starvation. I’m so thankful to have WFP as a partner and to further expand our reach to those who need it most,” Tesfaye shared in a statement.

David Beasley, who serves as the World Food Programme’s executive director, added the initiative is “a new dawn in the struggle to end global hunger.”

Efforts like the XO Humanitarian Fund are needed as more than 820 million people around the globe are battling hunger.

The XO Humanitarian Fund is a project under the umbrella of a larger partnership fostered between Tesfaye and the nonprofit. He has donated $1.8 million to the food assistance-focused humanitarian organization to date. In October 2021, Tesfaye was selected to be a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations World Food Programme.

“The U.N. World Food Programme is doing urgent and important work to change and save lives on a daily basis, and I feel passionately about addressing world hunger and helping people in need,” he said.


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