The tourist property rental platform spoke out as soon as the humanitarian crisis began, in August, and created a network to house Afghan refugees free of charge.

In August of this year, when the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan worsened, with the seizure of power by the extremist group Taliban, the tourist property rental platform Airbnb announced that it would house 20,000 Afghan refugees worldwide for free.

The plan is to house Afghans in properties listed on Airbnb, with stays paid for by the company. The announcement was made by the platform's CEO and co-founder, Brian Chesky, who did not specify exactly how long the refugees will be housed.

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According to him, the company works with NGOs to meet the most urgent needs of the host families. The intention, in addition to providing shelter, is to contribute to the restart of these people who had to leave their homes to live elsewhere.

“As tens of thousands of Afghan refugees around the world are resettled, where they will stay will be the first chapter of their new lives. For these 20,000 refugees, my hope is that the Airbnb community offers them not only a safe place to rest and start over, but also a warm welcome.”

How to help shelter a refugee through Airbnb

airbnb refugees

Photo: Disclosure

According to CEO Brian Chesky, the Airbnb platform will pay for Afghan refugees to stay in properties owned by people in the community who express a desire to shelter them. Anyone who wants to be a supportive host must get in touch through the communication channels on the platform itself or on Airbnb.org – a social tool created by the company to help people exchange and share accommodations and resources in times of crisis.

Airbnb’s CEO also called on hosts to help Afghan refugees on a voluntary basis, adding to the company’s drive to reach more people. In fact, anyone who wants to contribute, even if they don't have accommodation to offer, can make a donation to Airbnb.org. According to the entity, “the full amount of your donation is intended to help people in times of crisis”.

The cost of the Afghan refugees' stay, as announced by the company, will be funded through contributions from Airbnb and Chesky, as well as people who donate to the Airbnb.org Refugee Fund – a fund created by the company to support refugee policies.

Reception in times of crisis

airbnb refugees

Photo: Disclosure

This is not Airbnb's first initiative to shelter vulnerable people. The company began this work in 2012, when more than 1,000 people needed emergency accommodation after New York was hit by Hurricane Sandy.

In 2017, it launched the Open Homes initiative to allow its host community to offer their property for free to people hit by disasters or fleeing conflict, such as Afghan refugees.

The initiative has already offered free accommodation to those affected by the earthquake in Mexico City, the fires in California and Australia, among other disasters. In the case of the crisis in Afghanistan, in addition to the 20,000 it intends to accommodate, it provided emergency funding to the International Rescue Committee and the Church World Service to guarantee temporary stay for 1,000 Afghan refugees, at the end of August.

According to Airbnb, the company's initiatives have already helped 75,000 people get shelter in times of crisis.






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