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Ukraine: Airbnb Aims To Host 100,000 Refugees Fleeing Russian Invasion

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Ukraine: Airbnb Aims To Host 100,000 Refugees Fleeing Russian Invasion

CEO of Airbnb Brian Chesky has pledged to try and offer housing to up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees for free.

Amid the escalating invasion of Ukraine, which first began when Vladimir Putin sent forces across the border on February 24, hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian citizens have been trying to flee the country.

Reports have been growing surrounding the rising number of not just military but civilian deaths, including children.

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Chesky took to Twitter this morning to announce the holiday rental company's efforts to support 'up to 100,000' of those fleeing the country, specifically in working with hosts to offer free shelter in nearby locations 'including Poland, Germany, Hungary and Romania'.

However, Chesky stressed that Airbnb needs 'help to meet this goal'. He stated: 'The greatest need we have is for more people who can offer their homes in nearby countries, including Poland, Germany, Hungary and Romania. If you can host a refugee, go here: http://airbnb.org/get-involved.'

On the company's website, it calls on hosts to 'give people a place to call home in times of crisis' and to 'show up for your community by offering people in crisis a place to stay, including refugees'.

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'Your space can provide comfort to a family evacuating because of a wildfire, a refugee making a life-saving journey, or a relief worker deployed in the wake of a hurricane,' it adds.

Volunteers sort first necessity goods at the reception point in Przemysl, Poland (Alamy)
Volunteers sort first necessity goods at the reception point in Przemysl, Poland (Alamy)

Chesky explained the stays would all be 'free' and 'funded by Airbnb, Airbnb.org donors and through the generosity of Hosts'.

The CEO also signposted the UN Refugee Agency as a support site for refugees and asylum seekers while the company is working to 'finalise these details'.

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The UN Refugee Agency's site offers information as to where people can seek help in Ukraine and 'how to apply for asylum in Ukraine,' alongside detailing 'rights and duties' that asylum seekers have during the procedure, as well information on what to do when they've gained 'recognition as a refugee'.

Since the invasion first began, it is reported over 500,000 refugees have fled Ukraine, according to the United Nations, as per The Evening Standard.

Polish officials have reported over 100,000 people having crossed the border into Poland alone. Meanwhile, Hungarian officials have stated that on February 26, 23,000 refugees entered Hungary, but that the country has seen a total of 66,000 refugees so far.

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Chesky concluded: 'The situation is rapidly evolving, so stay tuned for more details in the coming days…'

If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information 

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: News, Russia, Ukraine, World News, Travel

Poppy Bilderbeck
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