Airbnb will offer free housing globally for up to 20,000 refugees who are fleeing Afghanistan, the company announced Tuesday.
“As tens of thousands of Afghan refugees resettle around the world, where they stay will be the first chapter in their new lives,” Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky said in a statement. “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 will pay for the housing, which will be provided by their partnered hosts in cities around the world. Refugees will stay in properties that are listed on the company’s website. Chesky did not say how long the refugees will be offered free housing.
“The displacement and resettlement of Afghan refugees in the U.S. and elsewhere is one of the biggest humanitarian crises of our time,” Chesky tweeted on Tuesday. “We feel a responsibility to step up.”
This past weekend, Airbnb worked with partners to place 165 refugees in housing shortly after they arrived in the U.S. Airbnb is working with nongovernmental organizations to help with placement.
“Accessible housing is urgently needed and essential,” said David Miliband, president of the International Rescue Committee.
Property owners who host Airbnb have long been encouraged to donate stays at their homes for “people in crisis.” Airbnb says that since 2012’s Hurricane Sandy, it has been able to provide housing to more than 75,000 displaced people.