Online accommodation platform Airbnb has said it will temporarily house 20,000 Afghan refugees at no charge to help them resettle across the world.
The company’s boss said the move was in response to “one of the biggest humanitarian crises of our time”. He said the firm felt a responsibility to step up.
Chief executive Brian Chesky added: “I hope this inspires other business leaders to do the same. There’s no time to waste. “”As tens of thousands of Afghan refugees resettle around the world, where they stay will be the first chapter in their new lives. For these 20,000 refugees, my hope is that the Airbnb community will provide them with not only a safe place to rest and start over, but also a warm welcome home,” he said.
The offer starts immediately and the company said it was working with non-governmental organisations “on the ground” to help with the most pressing needs. It has not specified how much the company plans to spend on the initiative or how long refugees will be housed for. But it said it would collaborate with resettlement agencies and partners “to go where the need goes” and evolve the initiative and its support as necessary. “Starting today, Airbnb will begin housing 20,000 Afghan refugees globally for free,” Mr Chesky tweeted on Tuesday. “While we will be paying for these stays, we could not do this without the generosity of our hosts.”https://www.bbc.com/news/business-58315378
The company said the cost of the stays would be funded through contributions from Airbnb and Mr Chesky, as well as donors to the Airbnb.org Refugee Fund.