Airbnb Asked European Hosts to Open Homes to Ukrainian Refugees, and They’re Responding

DShortly after Russia invaded Ukraine, Airbnb announced that it would provide free short-term housing for up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees flocking to European countries. It is one of dozens of companies intensify in the crisis.

In a Twitter thread on Monday, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky wrote, “We need help to achieve this goal. The biggest need we have is to have more people who can offer their accommodation in neighboring countries, especially Poland, Germany, Hungary and Romania. If you can host a refugee, go here:”

Within a day of the announcement, more than 25,000 people had visited the link for hosts, Airbnb said. Forbes.

Airbnb said in an email Tuesday that Chesky and two other Airbnb officials have so far sent letters to leaders of 14 European countries, including France, the UK, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, proposing to place refugees in Airbnb properties. The first four letters were sent to leaders in Poland, Hungary, Germany and Romania, with Airbnb offering to “work closely with governments to best meet the specific needs of each country, including offering longer duration”.

On Tuesday, the United Nations reported that 677,000 Ukrainians had fled to neighboring countries. That’s roughly equivalent to the total population of a major city like Boston, Oklahoma City, or El Paso.

From Wednesday morning, the the number of Ukrainian refugees has increased at 874,000, roughly the equivalent of the population of Charlotte or Indianapolis.

Airbnb is partnering with HIAS, a nonprofit organization that provides humanitarian aid and assistance to refugees, and is working to build additional partnerships with international and regional nonprofit NGOs active on the ground.

The vacation rental company invites people from other parts of the world to contribute to the cause of Ukrainian refugees throughout the donate button on website.

This isn’t the first time Airbnb has stepped in to help war refugees. After reaching its goal of providing free accommodation to 20,000 Afghan refugees, Airbnb set a new goal last month to help another 20,000 refugees from Afghanistan, Africa, the Middle East, the Americas central and southern and other regions.

In 2020, Airbnb offered free and discounted stays to tens of thousands of frontline workers battling the spread of Covid-19.

Last month, Airbnb posted a record $1.5 billion profit in the fourth quarter of 2021 and announced that 2021 was the best year in company history.

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