Airbnb pledges support to house 100,000 Ukrainian refugees

Worldwide: Airbnb has pledged to offer free, short-term housing to up to 100,000 refugees fleeing Ukraine through its nonprofit organisation Airbnb.org, following the Russian invasion last week.

The company has confirmed that the stays will be funded by Airbnb, donors to the Airbnb.org Refugee Fund, and host donations through Airbnb.org.

Airbnb co-founder and CEO, Brian Chesky, co-founder and Airbnb.org chairman, Joe Gebbia, and co-founder and chief strategy officer, Nathan Blecharczyk, sent leaders to leaders across Europe, starting with those in Poland, Germany, Hungary and Romania, offering their support to welcome refugees within their borders.

The company says that it will work closely with governments to “best support the specific needs in each country, including by providing longer-term stays”.

The news follows last week’s announcement that Airbnb had provided housing to 21,300 Afghan refugees [surpassing its 20,000 target], and the company has now set a new goal of providing free, temporary housing to a further 20,000 refugees from Afghanistan, Africa, the Middle East, Central and South America, and other regions.

Having launched five years ago, Airbnb.org was set up to facilitate temporary stays for people in moments of crisis, supporting refugees and other displaced people around the world. Airbnb and Airbnb.org claim to have connected more than 54,000 refugees and those seeking asylum [from Syria, Venezuela, Afghanistan and more] to temporary housing through Airbnb.org partners.

Last year, Airbnb.org announced the creation of a Refugee Fund, which has already brought in more than 4,000 donors to support its work with refugees and asylum seekers across the world. It has also provided emergency accommodation for frontline workers fighting the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, and those affected by floods, earthquakes and other environmental disasters worldwide.

Airbnb and Airbnb.org will share more details on how its host and guest community can support the initiative in the coming days, and in the meantime, they will continue to work with charities and nonprofits on the ground that are responsible for booking and coordinating stays for refugee guests.

Those interested in opening up their homes to house refugees can learn more at the Airbnb.org website.

Refugees and asylum seekers fleeing Ukraine who are in need of immediate support can get connected to available resources from the UN Refugee Agency.