Airbnb vows to temporarily house Afghan refugees
26 August 2021 at 4:51 pm
“For [these] 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”
Airbnb is offering 20,000 Afghan refugees free accommodation to help them resettle and rebuild their lives amid the ongoing humanitarian crisis.
Thousands of citizens have tried to flee Afghanistan recently after the capital Kabul fell to the Taliban on 15 August.
With this influx of refugees set to put a strain on governments and NGOs, Airbnb has vowed to play a part in supporting these vulnerable people.
The online accommodation platform has announced it will provide free temporary housing to Afghan refugees around the world through its charitable arm Airbnb.org.
Airbnb will fund the accommodation, with contributions also coming from its co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky, as well from donors to the Airbnb.org Refugee Fund.
While the finer details are yet to be confirmed, it is understood that Airbnb hosts will be able to offer their property to refugees for free, or at a discounted rate, with the company covering the additional costs.
Chesky said Airbnb was proud to help displaced people feel welcome as they resettled abroad.
“As tens of thousands of Afghan refugees resettle around the world, where they stay will be the first chapter in their new lives,” Chesky said.
“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.”
Airbnb.org will also work with resettlement agencies and partners to further develop this initiative and ensure help is going where it’s needed most.
The charity last week provided emergency funding and support to the International Rescue Committee (IRC), HIAS and Church World Service so up to 1,000 arriving Afghan refugees had a temporary Airbnb to stay at.
David Miliband, the president and CEO of the IRC, thanked Airbnb for its support.
“As the IRC helps to welcome and resettle Afghans in the US, accessible housing is urgently needed and essential,” Miliband said.
“We are grateful to our partners at Airbnb.org and Airbnb for once again offering their support and infrastructure to meet this moment, providing safe and welcoming places for individuals and families as they arrive in the United States and begin rebuilding their lives.”
You can find out more about the work of Airbnb.org or get involved here.