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
“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
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.”
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.
He said: “The displacement and resettlement of Afghan
refugees in the US and elsewhere is one of the biggest
humanitarian crises of our time.”
Airbnb said it would release more details soon about how
people might help.
The company said: “We know that Airbnb hosts and guests
around the world will be eager to stand up and assist this
massive effort – and in the coming days, Airbnb and
Airbnb.org plan to share details on how hosts and the
broader community can support this initiative.”