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Airbnb says it has doubled the number of Afghan refugees it plans to temporarily house


Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky attends the Cannes Lions on June 20, 2016, in Cannes, France.

Richard Bord | Getty Images

Airbnb announced Thursday that it is planning to provide temporary housing to an additional 20,000 Afghan refugees, bringing the total number up to 40,000.

Last month, the charitable arm of the short-term lodging service pledged to accommodate 20,000 refugees. However, in a new blogpost, Airbnb said it will have “the capacity to go above and beyond” the initial commitment.

“If demand for housing aligns with supply in communities where refugees are resettling, these new resources could help provide housing for an additional 20,000 Afghan refugees,” Airbnb said.

The company said the refugee stays are being funded by contributions to Airbnb.org from Airbnb and Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky, as well as donors to the Airbnb.org Refugee Fund.

Airbnb has not specified exactly how much the company plans to spend on the commitment or how long refugees are being housed for.

In addition to stays funded by Airbnb.org, the company said 5,000 hosts have offered to provide free and discounted stays to Afghan refugees so far.

Companies of all shapes and sizes rush to show their support for victims in times of a major crisis; it’s an opportunity to be charitable and boost public relations in the process.

Verizon, Walmart and Texas Medical Technology are among those who have offered to help the 100,000-plus people to have fled the country to the U.S. after Kabul fell to the Taliban on Aug. 15.

Elsewhere, Amazon said it will offer jobs to refugees in the company’s warehouses and transportation hubs, as well as in tech and corporate roles.

Airbnb, which is valued at around $107 billion, often offers to cover the cost of housing in emergencies. It says that 75,000 people have found a place to stay in a time of crisis since 2012.



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