The Weeknd was named the UN World Food Programme Goodwill Ambassador last Thursday (October 7) in Los Angeles, due to the artist’s past charitable donations to the world hunger cause.
The RnB and pop singer said: “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. 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.”
Past UN Food Programme Ambassadors include Kate Hudson and Michael Kors, with the role including being an advocate for ending world hunger, with the organisation providing life-saving annual food assistance to over 100 million people living in more than 80 countries.
The executive of the Food Programme, David Beasley has said, “We are thrilled to welcome The Weeknd to the WFP family. His compassion and commitment to helping the world’s hungriest people is truly inspirational. 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 has donated more than $3 million to various organisations that help the cause over the past year. His most recent donation was $1 million, which he gave to the UN Food Programme and their work in Ethiopia, which follows the deadly violence that the country has seen in its northern regions. The Weeknd is of Ethiopian descent, with his parents emigrating from there to Canada.
The musician stated: “Regardless of political lines and regions, we need to save lives for all people, regardless of where they live or who they are. Because people are dying and that is what I care about. It’s about helping every single citizen of Ethiopia who needs it, as well as people around the globe who rely on food assistance to stay alive, and I intend to do my best within the UN World Food Programme to do exactly this.”
The World Food Programme’s USA president and CEO, 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 honored 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.”