Global Aid For Lebanon, Launched by Weeknd Manager, Raises $1 Million in 10 Days

Demonstrators march holding candles and flashlights

The #GlobalAidForLebanon campaign launched by Weeknd manager and XO Records CEO Wassim “Sal” Slaiby in collaboration with Global Citizen and World Food Program USA (WFP USA) has brought in more than $1.2 million in cash and pledges to date, exceeding $1 million in just ten days, with donations continuing to come in. Hundreds of donors have contributed, according to the announcement.The campaign was launched earlier this month to raise funds for the victims of the explosion in Beirut’s harbor that killed more than 200 people and left thousands homeless, in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds will be dispersed among the Red Cross Lebanon, the Children’s Cancer Center of Lebanon and the United Nations World Food Programme (UNWFP).

The Weeknd himself donated $300,000, while Live Nation committed $50,000. Slaiby and his wife, Rima Fakih (a former Miss USA), were both born in Lebanon; he emigrated to The Weeknd’s home country of Canada as a teenager and she to the U.S. as a child. Earlier this week the couple donated $250,000 to the relief fund.

“I would like to call out the extraordinary efforts of Sal Slaiby, Rima Fakih and Global Citizen for their dedication to ensuring the people of Lebanon get the support they need to survive and rebuild,” said World Food Program USA President and CEO Barron Segar. “Their lifesaving efforts will ensure that the people who need help will get it, whether its food, shelter or medical assistance. We are very appreciative of their attention and that they chose the Red Cross Lebanon, the Children’s Cancer Center and the United Nations World Food Program as beneficiaries of this campaign.”

“Our hearts are deeply embedded in our homeland of Lebanon and to see our friends, community and people from across the globe donating to help is truly moving. We have just begun, as this devastation is so deep, and we hope to see the momentum of the fund increase so we can get sufficient help to our country that is in so much need,” said Sal and Rima Slaiby.

Michael Sheldrick, Chief Policy and Government Affairs Officer, Global Citizen, said “Global Citizen is honored to serve as a community of changemakers that are committed to improving the world by taking action, fighting extreme poverty and inspiring lasting change. Scores of Global Citizens answered the call to aid the people of Beirut, in support of the ‘Global Aid for Lebanon’ campaign, and that outpouring of support is a testament to the power of humanity. We know that we are strongest when we band together to uplift communities in need and Global Citizen exists so that no community ever has to endure distress alone.”

Funds to the U.N. World Food Program will support relief efforts in Lebanon, including providing emergency food parcels to highly vulnerable families, as well as families impacted by the longer-term economic crisis; bringing in wheat flour and wheat to ensure the continuity of national bread supply; supporting logistics operations at the badly damaged Port of Beirut and helping to rebuild it by airlifting equipment and setting up warehouses and mobile grain storage units around the port.