It’s The Weeknd! Superstar Singer Becomes U.N. World Food Programme Goodwill Ambassador

Photo: Rich Fury/Getty Images
World Food Programme
Published October 8, 2021

Record-breaking vocalist and songwriter inducted into ‘WFP family’ at special ceremony in Los Angeles

Award-winning Canadian singer The Weeknd, who holds the record for the longest-charting single in the United States, has joined with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) as a Goodwill Ambassador.

“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, accepting the honor at a special ceremony in Los Angeles yesterday.

three men standing in front of WFP USA background
Photo: Rich Fury/Getty Images

The Weeknd with U.N. World Food Programme Executive Director David Beasley, right, and World Food Program USA President and CEO Barron Segar, left, at a special event in West Hollywood last night.

The Weeknd has been a passionate advocate and generous supporter of humanitarian causes throughout his career, donating more than $3 million to various organizations in the past year alone. Most recently, he gifted $1 million to U.N. World Food Programme’s relief efforts in Ethiopia following months of deadly violence.

two women in colorful clothes and headscarves carrying bag of food
Photo: Claire Nevill

A U.N. World Food Programme food distribution in the Ethiopian region of Afar.

As the son of Ethiopian immigrants to Canada, the conflict deeply affected him, he has said, and ultimately this moved him to deepen his relationship with the U.N. World Food Programme.

“Our partnership is an authentic extension of all our efforts and intentions to help those in need and bring an end to so much suffering,” said The Weeknd (born Abel Tesfaye).

U.N. World Food Programme Executive Director David Beasley said: “We are thrilled to welcome The Weeknd to the U.N. World Food Programme family. His compassion and commitment to helping the world’s hungriest people is truly inspirational.”

two men speaking on blue stairs
Photo: Rich Fury/Getty Images

U.N. World Food Programme’s David Beasley said he was ‘thrilled’ to welcome The Weeknd.

Beasley added: “Every night, 811 million people go to bed hungry, and another 270 million are marching toward starvation. This is just not right and we have got to speak out and act today to save lives. We need everyone to come join our movement to end hunger – it is all-hands on deck to avoid a global catastrophe.”

The Weeknd, known for hits such as ‘Starboy’ and ‘Take My Breath’, joins an international roster of ambassadors including Kate Hudson and Michael Kors, who lend their voices to support the U.N. World Food Programme’s mission to end hunger. The organization provides lifesaving food assistance to more than 100 million people in 80 countries.

girl in white and green shirt smiling in front of bags of food
Photo: WFP/Claire Neville

A girl at a U.N. World Food Programme distribution site in Zelazle, North Western zone of Tigray, Ethiopia.

World Food Program USA chief Barron Segar said: “Whether he is performing or speaking out about global hunger, The Weeknd’s voice is powerful and inspiring, only matched by his dedication to helping people around the globe. We are honoured that he has joined our mission. He will undoubtedly inspire the next generation of humanitarians in the fight to ensure no man, woman or child goes to bed hungry.”

The U.N. World Food Programme said via a press release: “The continuous record-breaking of charts, sales and streams, headlining the biggest festivals and stadiums in the world including this year’s Super Bowl, and his ever-mysterious public persona, have combined to establish The Weeknd as one of the most compelling and significant artists of the 21st century.”

This story was originally written by WFP Staff and published on WFP’s Stories on October 8, 2021.

Join Abel in Ending World Hunger

The Weeknd is a passionate advocate for fighting global hunger. You can join him in building a Zero Hunger world.