Airbnb to offer 100,000 free beds for Ukraine refugees

Airbnb

Airbnb

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Agency Report

US vacation-rental platform Airbnb said Monday it would offer free short-term stays to up to 100,000 people fleeing Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The San Francisco-based company said in a statement that its top leaders had "sent letters to leaders across Europe, starting with the leaders of Poland, Germany, Hungary and Romania, offering support in welcoming refugees within their borders."

"While Airbnb.org is committing to facilitate short-term housing for up to 100,000 refugees fleeing Ukraine, it will work closely with governments to best support the specific needs in each country, including by providing longer-term stays," it added.

The lodgings will be funded by the company, donors to an Airbnb fund for refugees, and hosts, it said.

Airbnb.org is the company's nonprofit organization, which facilitates temporary stays for people in times of crisis around the world.

Since the beginning of the Russian offensive, about 400,000 Ukrainians have entered the European Union, according to an AFP count.

Nearly half of them have reached Poland, according to the Warsaw government.

Airbnb's initiative echoes the aid offered last August to Afghans seeking to flee their country after the Taliban took over.

The initiative is not the company's only recent brush with major global affairs.

Earlier this month, research revealed that it had hundreds of listings in Xinjiang and Tibet, two regions where China stands accused of widespread human rights abuses and forced cultural assimilation.

At the time, Airbnb told AFP it operates "where the US government allows us to" and "has a "rigorous process... to help ensure we follow applicable rules."

AFP

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