Tigray: The Weeknd takes part in US government meeting on ‘devastating’ Ethiopia crisis

Tesfaye urged everyone to help spread awareness about the issue and donate for the people of Ethiopia

Peony Hirwani
Thursday 10 June 2021 11:14
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Ethiopia Massacre: UN concerned over disrupted humanitarian aid to more than two million people in Tigray

Pop artist The Weeknd participated in a USAID government meeting where he was briefed about emergency response to the “devastating” crisis in Tigray, Ethiopia.

The 31-year-old Canadian singer, real name Abel Tesfaye, participated in the meeting on Thursday (10 June) alongside USAID’S administrator Samantha Power, and National Security Director Colin Thomas-Jensen among others.

In an Instagram post, the “Save Your Tears” singer said that 90 per cent of the population in Ethiopia requires humanitarian assistance, and two million people are now displaced due to the events that unfolded in Tigray.

He also highlighted that 63,000 refugees, as of April 2021, have been arriving in Eastern Sudan, and there’s a high risk of serious famine in the state without an immediate increase in humanitarian assistance.

“There’s increased protection needed for at-risk groups, such as women and girls experiencing gender-based violence,” he wrote.

Tesfaye urged everyone to help spread awareness about the issue, and also attached a USAID donation link in his Instagram profile’s bio.

The artist, who won 10 Billboard awards this year, donated $1m (£709,000) in April to Ethiopian relief efforts amid continued violence in the country.

Born to Ethiopian immigrant parents, the “After Hours” singer wrote at the time: “My heart breaks for my people of Ethiopia as innocent civilians ranging from small children to the elderly are being senselessly murdered and entire villages are being displaced out of fear and destruction.”

Former first lady Michelle Obama praised the artist for his donations to various causes around the world during a virtual appearance at the Brit Awards.

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“He’s (The Weeknd) made his impact not just on stage and in our earbuds, he’s also donated millions to causes like Covid relief, and Black Lives Matter,” she said.

“He’s helped feed those displaced by violence in Ethiopia, he’s funded assistance for survivors of the explosion in Lebanon. So let’s just say that in a tough year, he’s provided a light that’s pretty blinding and given us all a reason to dance,” Ms Obama said.

In his acceptance speech, the “Starboy” singer thanked his fans and highlighted his heartache for the people currently suffering in Ethiopia.

“You are deep in my heart. For everyone watching, please help where you can,” he said.

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