Online accommodation platform Airbnb has announced it will temporarily host 20,000 Afghan refugees at no charge to help them resettle across the world.
The move was announced by CEO and founder Brian Chesky on Twitter, who said: “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.”
The offer will come into effect immediately, and the company is said to be working with non-governmental organisations “on the ground” to help with the most pressing demands.
Airbnb said the cost of the stays will be funded through contributions from the company and Mr Chesky, as well as donours to the Airbnb.org Refugee Fund.
It comes as, in light of the retaking of Afghanistan by the Taliban, tens of thousands of Afghans have fled the country, potentially sparking a major refugee crisis.
As of Tuesday, just under 58,700 people had been evacuated from Kabul airport.
Airbnb did not specify how much it plans to spend on the initiative, or how long refugees would be housed for, but it said that it would be collaborating with resettlement agencies and partners “to go where the need goes”.
Mr Chesky added that while the company would be paying for the stays, it could not do so without the generosity of the hosts on its platform: “While we will be paying for these stays, we could not do this without the generosity of our hosts.”
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