The Russian invasion of Ukraine has led to hundreds of thousands of refugees. To help, Airbnb.org, the company’s independent non-profit, is offering free, short-term accommodations for up to 100,000 refugees fleeing Ukraine for neighboring countries, according to a news release.
These stays are funded partially by Airbnb’s for-profit sector, donors to the Airbnb.org Refugee Fund, and hosts opening up their homes. The company has reached out to government officials in Poland, Germany, Hungary, and Romania for support in welcoming refugees with hopes of assisting with longer-term stays.
400,000 Ukrainians have fled to European countries like Poland, Hungary, Moldova, Slovakia and Romania as of February 26, a spokesman for the United Nations refugee agency told The Washington Post.
“We need help to meet this goal. 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,” Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky tweeted.
1. Airbnb and https://t.co/enqjlQB0rH are working with our Hosts to house up to 100,000 refugees fleeing from Ukraine, for free
— Brian Chesky 🇺🇦 (@bchesky) February 28, 2022
In August 2021, Airbnb announced it would offer housing to 20,000 refugees around the world. In mid February, it met that promise with an announcement that the company had provided housing to 21,300 Afghans and is now working to provide free temporary housing to another 20,000 refugees from Afghanistan, Africa, the Middle East, Central and South America, and other regions.
Couchsurfing, another hosting company, posted on its Instagram that it also plans to offer free access to its services.
Airbnb.org is working with local non-profits to coordinate stays for refugees regardless of nationality, race, ethnicity, or how they identify. The company suggests that anyone in need of immediate support get in contact with resources through the UN Refugee Agency.