Airbnb — and their partner nonprofit organization Airbnb.org — announced on Tuesday that it will provide temporary housing to 20,000 Afghan refugees worldwide who are fleeing their homes as the Taliban seizes power.
“As tens of thousands of Afghan refugees resettle around the world, where they stay will be the first chapter in their new lives,” Brian Chesky, the CEO and co-founder of Airbnb 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.”
This comes just a week after the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan as the U.S. completes its troop withdrawal from a nearly two-decade-long war. Since August 14, the U.S. has evacuated more than 58,000 people from Kabul, the nation’s capitol and largest city. In the 24 hours preceding Tuesday morning, more than 21,000 more people were evacuated, according to the Washington Post. About 6,500 people, the majority of whom are Afghans, were waiting for evacuation flights inside the Kabul airport on Tuesday morning, CNN reported.
The European Union announced on Tuesday that it would increase humanitarian aid to Afghanistan by more than $175 million, the Post reported. Also on Tuesday, President Joe Biden will meet with European allies at the virtual G7 summit. CNN reported that international leaders will likely encourage Biden to slow the U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, and allow for more evacuations, but Biden hasn’t agreed to anything yet.
Last week, Airbnb.org gave emergency funding to the International Rescue Committee, HIAS and Church World Service in support of Afghan refugees and, over the past weekend, it placed 165 refugees in housing after they reached the states.
“As the IRC helps to welcome and resettle Afghans in the U.S., accessible housing is urgently needed and essential,” David Miliband, the president and CEO of the International Rescue Committee said 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.”