U.N. World Food Programme Goodwill Ambassador, The Weeknd, to Help Provide 18 Million Loaves of Bread to Families in Gaza

Photo: Rich Fury/Getty Images for U.N. World Food Programme
Published April 29, 2024

As young people search for ways to help Gazans, The Weeknd calls on fans to join him in supporting WFP’s humanitarian efforts. 

Washington, D.C. (April 29, 2024) — United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Goodwill Ambassador and multi-platinum global recording artist Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye is allocating another $2 million from his XO Humanitarian Fund toward WFP’s humanitarian response efforts in Gaza. This support will provide over 1,500 metric tons of fortified wheat flour, which can make over 18 million loaves of bread that can help feed more than 157,000 Palestinians for one month.

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

WFP Goodwill Ambassador Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye has directed $2M to Gaza from his XO Humanitarian Fund.

This funding builds on the original $2.5 million, equivalent to 4 million emergency meals, that Tesfaye directed to WFP’s Gaza response in December 2023. It provided 820 metric tons of food parcels to feed more than 173,000 Palestinians for two weeks. Additionally, Tesfaye is making an urgent appeal to fans, calling on them to give what they can by donating towards WFP’s efforts in Gaza. More than 1 million Palestinians face catastrophic levels of hunger across Gaza and need urgent support.

“With famine looming in Gaza, Abel’s generous support will provide vital relief for thousands of Palestinian families who battle the grip of hunger every day.  We are tremendously grateful for his contribution, compassion, and for his unwavering advocacy for WFP and the people of Palestine,” said WFP’s Director for the Middle East, North Africa and Eastern Europe Region, Corinne Fleischer.

WFP is providing desperately needed food to over a million people across Gaza each month and is working to re-activate collapsed food systems. Most food is distributed in central and southern Gaza, with food deliveries to the north increasing since March. Around 2,100 metric tons of food parcels and wheat flour have been brought into northern Gaza via land routes and an additional 45 metric tons have been airdropped.

Boy eats bread from WFP in Gaza
Photo: WFP/Ali Jadallah

A young boy eats bread from WFP in Gaza, where more than 1 million people face catastrophic hunger.

WFP distributes food in U.N. shelters, communities, and make-shift camps, including ready-to-eat food, wheat flour, and specialized nutritional products for children, as well as pregnant and nursing mothers. It also supports over 100 community kitchens and aims to provide 500,000 hot meals daily. WFP is helping bakeries become operational again, supplying four bakeries in the north and 12 bakeries in central and southern Gaza with wheat flour, fuel, yeast, salt and sugar.

“We are very grateful for Abel’s continued support as WFP works to respond to the urgent hunger crisis in Gaza,” said Barron Segar, President and CEO of World Food Program USA. “Hunger is a human-made problem, and as such, it is solvable. We have enough food in this world to feed everyone; all we need is the funding and safe access to make it happen. Thanks to Abel’s designation, families and children will receive the food they so desperately need.”

Tesfaye, appointed a Goodwill Ambassador in October 2021, has actively supported WFP’s global hunger-relief mission through personal donations and the XO Humanitarian Fund established in partnership with World Food Program USA. Tesfaye, his partners and fans have raised $6.5 million to-date for the Fund. In total, Tesfaye has directed $4.5 million toward Gaza operations. Additionally, through the Fund, Tesfaye sent $2 million to support WFP’s emergency food assistance for women and children in Ethiopia.

Learn more about The Weeknd’s work with WFP at wfp.org/TheWeeknd.

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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 Contact: 
Toula Athas
Director, Communications
World Food Program USA