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Airbnb offering free housing to Afghan refugees

US Afghanistan
Posted at 6:46 PM, Aug 24, 2021

Airbnb is working to find housing for 20,000 Afghan refugees.

Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb, tweeted on August 24 that the company will commit to providing free space for refugees across the globe.

“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,” Chesky said in a tweet.

Chesky added that he hopes the effort will inspire other business leaders to help Afghan refugees.

The short-term rental company said the cost is being funded through contributions to its nonprofit organization, Airbnb.org, which began providing temporary housing to people in crisis in 2012 with Hurricane Sandy.

"In our view, it is our responsibility to assist in these moments, given the infrastructure we have and the resources," said Liz DeBold Fusco, North America Airbnb's Communications Lead, who spoke with News 3.

Most recently, Airbnb gave space to first responders needing to quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, this situation is unique, the company says.

"(It's) not just about providing a safe place to stay. It is really about welcoming somebody to a community and that is so incredibly invaluable in these moments, especially as somebody is essentially starting their life over here in the U.S. and elsewhere," said DeBold Fusco, who adds that since the August 24 announcement, Airbnb has been flooded with people interested in providing space for refugees.

Anyone with space who wishes to help can visit airbnb.org/refugees to sign up and be connected with resettlement organizations. The nonprofit is also collecting donations.

Tens of thousands of people were evacuated from Afghanistan ahead of the Aug. 31 deadline for the U.S. to leave the country.