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Airbnb Boss Speaks Out After Revealing It Will Offer Free Accommodation To Afghan Refugees

Hannah Smith


Airbnb Boss Speaks Out After Revealing They Will Offer Free Accommodation To Afghan RefugeesPA Images

The head of Airbnb has said there is ‘no time to waste’ as the company prepares to rehouse 20,000 Afghan refugees for free in countries across the world.

In a thread announcing the decision, Brian Chesky called for volunteer hosts to get in touch if they would be willing to host an Afghan family, and urged other businesses to do what they can to support those affected by the crisis.


‘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 tweeted. ‘I hope this inspires other business leaders to do the same. There’s no time to waste.’

Afghan refugees boarding an evacuation flight (PA Images)PA Images

Airbnb said that the stays would be funded by the company and donations to its Refugee Fund, and that they would work with NGOs and resettlement agencies ‘on the ground’ to ‘go where the need goes’.

In an official statement announcing the move, Chesky said:


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.

Work to identify refugees and match them with hosts is set to begin ‘immediately’, with the company aiming to house Afghans ‘globally’. According to the BBC, it has already provided 165 refugees with safe housing upon arrival in the US from Afghanistan.

The UN has warned of an unprecedented humanitarian crisis unfolding in Afghanistan in the wake of withdrawal of international forces, with an estimated 270,000 Afghans internally displaced in the country in this year alone.

The United States, the UK and other countries are currently working to evacuate vulnerable Afghans from Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International airport ahead of an August 31 deadline, amid fears of Taliban reprisals against those who worked with government or international forces during the war.


Airbnb first established its ‘opening homes in times of crisis’ scheme in response to Hurricane Sandy in 2012, and has since urged hosts to temporarily donate their properties to people affected by natural and humanitarian disasters.

The BBC reports that the company claims to have helped 75,000 people through the programme, and in 2017 launched its ‘Open Homes’ initiative to all hosts to offer their homes for free.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

Topics: News, Afghanistan, Airbnb, Now


  1. BBC

    Airbnb offers free accommodation for 20,000 Afghan refugees

Hannah Smith
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