Airbnb Offers Free Housing and 'a Safe Place to Rest' for Afghan Refugees

Airbnb is providing temporary accommodations all over the world to Afghan refugees fleeing their country amidst the Taliban takeover

Photo: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty

Airbnb is offering safe places to stay to thousands of Afghan refugees.

The home rental company announced Tuesday that it will provide free temporary accommodations to the 20,000 refugees who have fled Afghanistan in the past month amidst the Taliban takeover, The Washington Post reported.

"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 said in a statement.

In the past 10 days, the U.S. has evacuated over 58,000 people from Kabul, Afghanistan's capital, the Post reported. Thousands have scrambled to flee the Taliban since the group took hold of the country earlier this month.

Afghan refugees

Airbnb, who acknowledged that "the situation on the ground is fast evolving," stated that they plan to "closely collaborate with resettlement agencies and partners to go where the need goes, and evolve this initiative and our support as necessary."

In a series of tweets sent out Tuesday morning, Airbnb's co-founder and head of community, Brian Chesky, said the company "could not do this without the generosity of our Hosts," and asked the Airbnb community to pitch in if they hadn't already.

"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!" he wrote.

The company's housing for refugees will be funded partially by Chesky, as well as donors to the Refugee Fund.

"As tens of thousands of Afghan refugees resettle around the world, where they stay will be the first chapter in their new lives," 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."

Along with their announcement, Airbnb issued a call to action to other companies, urging "fellow members of the global business community to join efforts to provide immediate support to Afghan refugees."

Kabul airport
The scene at Kabul International Airport in August, 2021. WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty

According to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), nearly 400,000 people have been forced to leave their homes in Afghanistan since the start of the year, joining the 2.9 million who had already been displaced across Afghanistan since the end of 2020.

While President Joe Biden previously said the U.S. would stay beyond the previously set Aug. 31 withdrawal deadline to ensure Americans and allies could leave the country, the Taliban has since insisted all foreign troops must be out of Afghanistan by that date.

Taliban spokesperson Suhail Shaheen told Sky News Monday, "You can say it's a red line," adding, "If the U.S. or U.K. were to seek additional time to continue evacuations, the answer is no. Or there would be consequences."

The U.S. continues to evacuate thousands from the country, but Taliban checkpoints surrounding the Kabul airport — where people have reportedly been beaten as they try and pass through — have made it increasingly difficult for Afghans to flee the country.

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