Airbnb to assist 20K Afghan refugees with temporary housing

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(KTVX) — As thousands of Afghans are being evacuated out of Kabul, a popular vacation rental company is preparing to offer temporary housing for the refugees.

According to Airbnb, their nonprofit arm, Airbnb.org, will provide temporary housing for 20,000 Afghan refugees worldwide.

Earlier this month, as the U.S. prepared to pull troops out of Afghanistan after two decades, the Taliban captured nearly all of the country in a matter of days, the Associated Press reports. A Taliban spokesman says the U.S. must complete its evacuation of people from Afghanistan by the Aug. 31 date the Biden administration set for the withdrawal of all American troops.

As evacuations continue, some Afghan refugees are being taken to military bases in Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin. Utah Gov. Spencer Cox recently penned a letter to President Joe Biden saying the Beehive State is “eager to assist” refugees as well.

The cost of the housing is funded through contributions to Airbnb.org from Airbnb CEO and co-founder Brian Chesky and donors to the Airbnb.org Refugee Fund.

“Airbnb and Airbnb.org recognize that the situation on the ground is fast evolving. Airbnb.org will closely collaborate with resettlement agencies and partners to go where the need goes, and evolve this initiative and our support as necessary,” Airbnb said in a release. “In addition, given the tremendous need, Airbnb urges fellow members of the global business community to join efforts to provide immediate support to Afghan refugees.”

Over the weekend, Airbnb.org worked with partners to place 165 refugees in safe housing shortly after they arrived in the U.S. The organization says it has also provided emergency funding and support to the International Rescue Committee, HIAS, and Church World Service to provide immediate temporary stays for up to 1,000 arriving Afghan refugees.

If you are an Airbnb host or a guest who wants to help, find details on Airbnb.org.

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