Airbnb is preparing to rehouse 20,000 Afghan refugees for free in countries all across the globe, as the head of the company insists that there is ‘no time to waste’.
I hope this inspires other business leaders to do the same. There’s no time to waste.
— Brian Chesky (@bchesky) August 24, 2021
Announcing the decision on Twitter, Brian Chesky called for volunteer hosts to get in touch if they would be willing to host an Afghan family and urged other businesses to do whatever they can to help support those affected by the crisis.
He wrote, ‘The displacement and resettlement of Afghan refugees in the US and elsewhere is one of the biggest humanitarian crises of our time. We feel a responsibility to step up. I hope this inspires other business leaders to do the same. There’s no time to waste.’
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Airbnb explained that the stays would be funded by the company and donations to its Refugee Fund, and that they would work with NGOs and resettlement agencies ‘on the ground’ to ‘go where the need goes’.
As per the official statement: ‘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.’
Such work is set to begin ‘immediately’, with Airbnb aiming to house Afghans ‘globally’. At the time of writing, and according to BBC, the company has already provided 165 refugees with safe housing upon arrival in the US.
In the meantime, the US, UK, and other countries are working to evacuate vulnerable Afghans from Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International airport ahead of an August 31 deadline, amid fears of Taliban reprisals.