United Nations World Food Programme Goodwill Ambassador Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye to Provide Four Million Meals to Support Emergency Humanitarian Efforts in Gaza

Published December 1, 2023

In coordination with local and regional implementing partners and other UN agencies

Photo: Rich Fury/Getty Images for U.N. World Food Programme

Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images for the U.N. World Food Programme

Washington, DC (December 1, 2023) –United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Goodwill Ambassador and multi-platinum global recording artist Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye is directing $2.5 million from his XO Humanitarian Fund toward WFP’s humanitarian response efforts in Gaza. This donation, which equates to four million emergency meals, will fund 820 metric tons of food parcels that could feed more than 173,000 Palestinians for two weeks.

Tesfaye’s contribution comes amid a critical moment in WFP’s response efforts, as it races to feed more than one million Gazans on the verge of starvation. Since the crisis began on October 7th, WFP has provided food assistance to more than 764,000 Palestinians in coordination with other UN agencies and local and regional implementing partners. During the recent humanitarian pause in fighting, WFP has reached more than 121,000 people, including in hard-to-reach areas previously inaccessible within Gaza. Food assistance has included fresh bread, fortified date bars, canned food, wheat flour, pasta, tomato paste and oil. WFP continues to move as many trucks as possible full of food and aid into Gaza daily during the humanitarian pause.

Photo: WFP/Ali Jadallah

So far, WFP has reached around 760,000 people inside Gaza with emergency food and electronic voucher assistance. Displaced families in UN shelters receive daily bread, canned food and/or date bars, while families in host communities receive a food parcel consisting of wheat flour, canned beans, canned meat, vegetable oil, salt, dates, sugar, and tea to meet their needs for two weeks.

“This conflict has unleashed a humanitarian catastrophe beyond reckoning. 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,” said WFP’s Director for the Middle East, North Africa and Eastern Europe Region, Corinne Fleischer. “We thank Abel for this valuable contribution towards the people of Palestine. We hope others will follow Abel’s example and support our efforts.”

To support WFP’s lifesaving work in Gaza, donate here.

Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye, appointed a Goodwill Ambassador in October 2021, has actively supported WFP’s global hunger-relief mission through personal donations of $1.8 million and through the XO Humanitarian Fund he established in partnership with World Food Program USA. The fund, which has raised $5 million to date, sent a first tranche of $2.5 million to support emergency food assistance to women and children in Ethiopia and the second tranche will be allocated to the Gaza response. In 2024, Tesfaye has committed to dedicating the equivalent of $1 per concert ticket sold from the global leg of his After Hours ‘til Dawn stadium tour to the XO Humanitarian Fund.

Learn more about The Weeknd’s work with the U.N. World Food Programme at wfp.org/TheWeeknd.

# # #

About the United Nations World Food Programme 

The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.

About World Food Program USA 

World Food Program USA, a 501(c)(3) organization based in Washington, DC, proudly supports the mission of the United Nations World Food Programme by mobilizing American policymakers, businesses and individuals to advance the global movement to end hunger. Our leadership and support help to bolster an enduring American legacy of feeding families in need around the world. To learn more, please visit wfpusa.org.

Media Contacts:

Toula Athas World Food Program USA

Abeer Etefa
Mob. +20 1066634352