Airbnb will pay to temporarily house 20,000 Afghan refugees worldwide at its listings following the displacement of millions after the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, the short-term rental company announced Tuesday.

The program will be funded through contributions to Airbnb.org, the company’s nonprofit arm, from Airbnb, its CEO Brian Chesky and donors to the Airbnb.org $25 million Refugee Fund, the company said. The latter was created earlier this year to expand Airbnb.org’s support of refugees and asylum seekers globally. Airbnb has connected about 25,000 refugees to temporary housing over the last four years, according to the company.

The announcement comes as tens of thousands of Afghans attempt to flee the country fearing persecution from the Taliban. More than 3.5 million Afghans have been internally displaced, the UN Refugee Agency said last month.


“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.”

Airbnb.org said it will “closely collaborate with resettlement agencies and partners to go where the need goes, and evolve this initiative and our support as necessary.” Airbnb also urged other businesses to step up to help Afghan refugees.

Last week, Airbnb.org gave emergency funding to nonprofits the International Rescue Committee (IRC), refugee aid organization HIAS and Church World Service “to provide immediate temporary stays via the Airbnb platform for up to 1,000 arriving Afghan refugees,” the company said. In the U.S., Airbnb.org helped place 165 refugees in safe housing over this past weekend.

“As the IRC helps to welcome and resettle Afghans in the U.S., accessible housing is urgently needed and essential,” said David Miliband, IRC’s president and CEO, in a statement.

“We are grateful to our partners at Airbnb.org and Airbnb for once again offering their support and infrastructure to meet this moment, providing safe and welcoming places for individuals and families as they arrive in the United States and begin rebuilding their lives.”

Airbnb said the company plans to share details on how hosts “and the broader community can support this initiative” in the coming days.

Inman has asked how long Airbnb will pay to house the refugees and how long the refugees will be able to stay in their temporary housing and will update this story if and when we hear back.

Airbnb has previously offered temporary shelter to California wildfire victims through its Open Homes program. That initiative encouraged Airbnb hosts to offer their homes for free to people fleeing natural disasters or armed conflict.

Email Andrea V. Brambila.

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