Airbnb.org announces partnerships to house 100k Ukrainian refugees

Ukraine: Airbnb.org has announced a number of new partnerships with charities to offer free, temporary housing to up to 100,000 refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine.

In its latest update on its response to the humanitarian crisis, Airbnb’s charitable arm revealed that it was collaborating with Global Empowerment Mission [GEM], EURORDIS and Planting Peace, following on from similar partnerships with Refugees Welcome Italia and Rescate in Italy, Red Acoge and Diaconía Madrid in Spain, and Bienvenida in Berlin, Germany to offer housing to refugees.

Other partnerships with Airbnb.org to provide free, short-term housing across Europe that were already announced include the International Organisation for MigrationHIASNova Ukraine and Save the Children Sweden. Meanwhile, the organisation is working closely with the government in Germany and federal government in the United States – the latter backing up its commitment to welcoming up to 100,000 refugees escaping from the conflict.

To date, the nonprofit organisation has helped almost 11,000 people access temporary accommodations in Europe after fleeing the war in Ukraine.

While Airbnb.org says that it collaborates with organisations that support all refugees, “regardless of nationality, race, ethnicity, or how they identify”, the new charities that it is working with are specifically dedicated to assisting people from marginalised communities who are fleeing Ukraine. This includes African students, people with rare diseases and their families, and those who identify as LGBTQIA+.

  • Global Empowerment Mission [GEM] aims to provide grassroots efforts with a large institutional impact for the most vulnerable populations affected by disasters around the world. Currently on the ground in Hungary, GEM is using the support of Airbnb.org to provide housing to African students who are fleeing Ukraine.

Michael Capponi, president of Global Empowerment Mission, said: “We’re so grateful for our partnership with Airbnb.org in this tragic Ukraine crisis. Thanks to this incredible program, GemBstrong has been able to already place 1,257 people in comfortable homes.

“Many of them are young students that would have been homeless in freezing temperatures if it wasn’t for them,” he added.

  • EURORDIS is a non-governmental patient-driven alliance of patient organisations, representing 995 rare disease patient organisations in 74 countries. With the support of Airbnb.org, it will be coordinating with the medical care provider community, to connect patients with a wide range of rare diseases who are fleeing Ukraine to housing.

Michael Wilbur, chief operating officer of Eurordis-Rare Diseases Europe, said: “This partnership will provide real value for people with rare diseases who were living in Ukraine and who were displaced by the war. Very often people living with a rare condition need extra care and support.

“We hope this initiative will give hundreds of vulnerable families breathing space to find their feet,” he added.

  • Planting Peace is a global nonprofit organisation that was founded with the purpose of spreading peace through humanitarian and environmental initiatives, ranging from a network of orphanages and safe havens in developing countries and rainforest conservation efforts in the Amazon to LGBTQIA+ rights advocacy and Equality House and Transgender House. The organisation is currently on the ground at the border of Poland and Ukraine delivering aid to refugees, with a particular focus on those with nowhere to go, no family to offer them safe, long-term housing or those with pets.

Thanking hosts for their “continuing, overwhelming generosity”, Airbnb.org added in its update that more than 33,000 people had signed up to offer their homes to refugees through the program, including over 20,000 across Europe and close to 7,000 in the United States.

In addition, Airbnb’s co-founders – Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia, Nathan Blecharczyk and his wife Elizabeth – have pledged to match up to $10 million in donations to Airbnb.org from 15 March to 30 April 2022.

Those interested in supporting Airbnb.org’s initiative to help refugees fleeing Ukraine, including by offering free or discounted stays or donating to Airbnb.org, are invited to visit this link to get involved.

Read how travel and hospitality companies have been responding to the Ukraine invasion with charitable efforts here.

The inspiration for setting up Airbnb.org dates back to 2012 when a single host opened up her home to people affected by Hurricane Sandy, a storm that inflicted almost $70 billion in damage and killed 233 people across eight countries from the Caribbean to Canada.