Airbnb has announced plans to temporarily house 20,000 Afghan refugees all around the globe - at no cost.

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky took to his Twitter feed to announce the development, and said that the refugees would be sheltered in Airbnb-listed residences that hosts have already volunteered.

“Starting today, Airbnb will begin housing 20,000 Afghan refugees globally for free,” Chesky wrote.

He added: “To make this happen, we are working closely with Airbnb.org, NGOs, and partners orgs on the ground to support the most pressing needs.”

The cost of the accommodations will be covered by Airbnb, as well as contributions from Chesky, who is said to be worth $12.3 billion, and other donations to the Airbnb.org Refugee Fund.

The corporation stated that it is engaging with relocation agencies and that its assistance will evolve as needed. It also advised other firms to do the same.

“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,” Chesky said in a statement.

It’s still not clear how long the temporary housing will be in effect.

Airbnb.org, an organization focused on arranging temporary stays for people in times of crisis such as natural catastrophes, said it could place 165 refugees in safe lodging quickly after they arrived in the United States over the weekend.

Last Monday, the organization announced that it had provided emergency financing and support to the International Rescue Committee, the Jewish American group HIAS, and Church World Service to provide immediate temporary lodging for up to 1,000 Afghan refugees arriving via the Airbnb platform.

David Miliband, the president and CEO of the International Rescue Committee, also provided a statement on the matter, highlighting “accessible housing” is “needed and essential.”

“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,” Miliband said.

According to US sources, around 48,000 individuals have been evacuated from Afghanistan recently, while others remain in the nation, which has fallen under Taliban control.

The majority of those who have been evacuated are Afghans who are afraid of the Islamic extremist group. 

According to the New York Post, a US official said that nearly 4,000 Americans were also rescued.

The Kabul airport is the principal point of evacuation from Afghanistan, but the Taliban have erected barriers, making it difficult for fleeing citizens to reach the airport.

Those who have made it to the airport are confronted with enormous masses assembled in extreme heat. In the midst of the chaos, children have reportedly been trampled to death.

The US has pledged to evacuate all US personnel by Aug. 31, including from the airport. The Taliban has warned President Joe Biden that he will be held accountable if he fails to meet that deadline, raising fears that many people seek. The to exit the country could be stranded.

Chesky notes that the “displacement and resettlement” of refugees worldwide is one of the major “humanitarian crises of our time.”

“I hope this inspires other business leaders to do the same. There’s no time to waste,” he added.

For more information on the initiative, click here.

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