After a tumultuous August, the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan, causing many Afghan refugees to flee the country. It’s estimated that there are already 2.2 million Afghan refugees in neighboring countries with 3.5 million more forced to flee their homes within the country’s borders, according to BBC News. These numbers are expected to rise. In an effort to do its part, Airbnb’s non-profit branch will be temporarily housing 20,000 refugees free of charge.
“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,” said Airbnb CEO and co-founder Brian Chesky in a press release.
The announcement comes after the organization had already given emergency funding and support to the International Rescue Committee (IRC), HIAS, and Church World Service. Airbnb hosts play a big role in offering the stays, but the organization recently announced that it would allow people who are not currently hosting to join the community to offer their homes.
“We’d like to thank our generous community of hosts and guests for reaching out and expressing interest in how they can support Afghan refugees through http://airbnb.org,” the company tweeted.
In the past, the nonprofit Airbnb organization has assisted in offering homes after natural disasters including the wildfires in California, the Mexico earthquakes, and various hurricanes worldwide. The Afghan refugee program is a part of the $25 million Refugee Fund announced in June, which is backed by Airbnb, Brian Chesky, and anyone willing to donate.