US companies including Airbnb and Walmart mobilize for aid to Afghanistan

The Airbnb logo can be seen on a small mini pyramid under the Pyramid glass of the Louvre Museum in Paris, France, March 12, 2019. REUTERS / Charles Platiau / File Photo / File Photo

Aug. 24 (Reuters) – U.S. companies including Airbnb Inc (ABNB.O) and Walmart Inc (WMT.N) lend a hand to the Afghan people after the recent collapse of the US-backed government and the takeover of control by the Taliban militant group.

Home rental company Airbnb Inc said on Tuesday it would provide temporary housing to 20,000 Afghan refugees around the world. Read more

The effort will be funded by Airbnb, its chief executive, Brian Chesky, and donations to its charity Airbnb.org, the company said in a statement. Blog.

“We provide this accommodation through resettlement agencies and partners, which coordinate directly with refugees and advise them on their length of stay needs,” a company spokesperson said. .

“Although we only provide temporary (non-permanent) housing, we are committed to housing these families for as long as they need it.”

The Taliban seized power in Afghanistan last week as the United States and its allies pulled their troops out of the country. The United States and its allies are rushing to complete the evacuation of all foreigners and vulnerable Afghans before an August 31 deadline agreed with the Taliban expires. Read more

Over the past weekend, Airbnb.org worked with partners to place 165 refugees in safe housing soon after arriving in the United States, Airbnb said.

U.S. Army and coalition flights have evacuated 21,600 people from Kabul, Afghanistan, over a 24-hour period since Monday morning, a White House official said on Tuesday.

In another example of companies getting started, U.S. wireless operator Verizon Inc (VZ.N) announced on Tuesday that it plans to remove charges for calls from its home and business customers to Afghanistan, from Wednesday until September 6. Its customers, including those calling from landlines, will not be charged any charges during this time, the Basking Ridge, New Jersey-based company said in a statement.

Discount retailer Walmart Inc (WMT.N) said in a blog post on Tuesday that it plans, through its foundation, to donate $ 1 million to three nonprofits supporting refugees. Afghans entering the United States, as well as veterans and their families. These organizations are the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, No One Left Behind, and the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors.

The United States on Sunday called for help from six commercial airlines to help transport people after their evacuation from Afghanistan as Washington seeks to speed up the pace of departures of at-risk Americans and Afghans from Kabul. Read more

The Pentagon said on Sunday it called in 18 civilian jets from United Airlines (UAL.O), American Airlines (AAL.O), Delta Air Lines (DAL.N) and others to transport people from temporary locations after they land. on flights from Afghanistan, building on the industry it last used during the Iraq war in 2003.

Reporting by Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru Writing by Anna Driver Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Matthew Lewis

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