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Airbnb promises to provide free housing for 20,000 Afghan refugees

Online accommodation platform Airbnb has said it will house 20,000 Afghan refugees at no charge to help them resettle across the world.

The company’s boss said the move was in response to “one of the biggest humanitarian crises of our time”.

He said the firm felt a responsibility to step up.

Chief executive Brian Chesky added: “I hope this inspires other business leaders to do the same. There’s no time to waste.”

The executives of the company said the project will start today, August 24 and the firm will cover the costs of their stays.

Co-founder and CEO of Airbnb, Brian Chesky, wrote in a Twitter thread on Tuesday: ‘Starting today, Airbnb will begin housing 20,000 Afghan refugees globally for free.

‘While we will be paying for these stays, we could not do this without the generosity of our hosts.

‘If you’re willing to host a refugee family, reach out and I’ll connect you with the right people here to make it happen!

‘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.’

He added: ‘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.’

A statement from Airbnb said: ‘In this past week, it has become abundantly clear that the displacement and resettlement of Afghan refugees here in the United States and elsewhere is a significant humanitarian crisis – and in the face of this need, our community is ready to once again step up.

‘Airbnb recognises the situation on the ground is fast evolving. Airbnb.org will closely collaborate with resettlement agencies and partners to go where the need goes, and evolve this initiative and our support as necessary.

‘In addition, given the tremendous need, Airbnb urges fellow members of the global business community to join efforts to provide immediate support to Afghan refugees.’

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