As the world watches in horror at the tragedies happening in Ukraine, the resounding question is: how can we help? Airbnb has answered that question with: we’re going to give temporary housing to 100,000 refugees.
Days after Russia invaded Ukraine, they announced via its website that it will offer free, short-term housing to up to 100,000 refugees fleeing their home country. These stays will be funded by Airbnb, Inc., donors to the Airbnb.org Refugee Fund, and the hosts through Airbnb.org.
They also released information on how people can host their homes or properties as refugee sites. Co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky took to Twitter with the announcement and – along with Co-founder and Airbnb.org Chairman Joe Gebbia, and Chief Strategy Officer and co-founder Nathan Blecharczyk – sent letters to leaders across Europe, starting with the leaders of Poland, Germany, Hungary, and Romania, offering support in welcoming refugees within their borders.
The company, along with Flexport, teamed up with actor Mila Kunis, a Ukrainian native, and her husband actor Ashton Kutcher to put a call out for support of refugees. The actors pledged to match up to $3 million in donations.
To date, the GoFundMe for Stand For Ukraine has raised nearly $18 million.
“Today, I am a proud Ukrainian. While my family came to the United States in 1991, I was born in Chernivtsi, Ukraine in 1983,” Kunis said in a video. “Ukrainians are proud and brave people who deserve our help in their time of need. This unjust attack on Ukraine and humanity at large is devastating and the Ukrainian people need our support. Our family is starting this fund to help provide immediate support and we will be matching up to $3 million dollars.”
Over the past five years, Airbnb and Airbnb.org have connected more than 54,000 refugees and asylees – including those from Syria, Venezuela, and Afghanistan – to temporary housing through Airbnb.org partners. Last year, Airbnb.org announced the founding of the Refugee Fund and has worked alongside thousands of donors to further support its work with refugees and asylum seekers worldwide.
Along with supporting refugees, Airbnb.org has nearly a decade of experience in providing emergency accommodations to those in need.