Airbnb doubles the number of Afghan refugees it plans to house

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky joins the Cannes Lions on June 20, 2016 in Cannes, France.

Richard Bord | Getty Images

Airbnb announced Thursday that its fundraising arm plans to provide temporary housing for an additional 20,000 Afghan refugees, bringing the total number up to 40,000.

Last month, the charity branch of the short-term lodging service promised to receive 20,000 refugees. But in a new blog post, Airbnb said it will have “the capacity to go beyond” the original commitment.

“If the demand for housing matches the supply in communities where refugees are resettling, these new resources could help provide housing for an additional 20,000 Afghan refugees,” Airbnb said.

The company said the refugee stay will be funded by contributions to Airbnb.org from Airbnb and Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky, as well as donors to the Airbnb.org Refugee Fund.

Airbnb has not specified exactly how much the company plans to spend on the commitment, or how long refugees will be accommodated.

In addition to stays funded by Airbnb.org, the company said 5,000 hosts have offered to provide free and reduced stays to Afghan refugees so far.

Companies of all shapes and sizes rush to show their support for victims in times of great crisis; it is an opportunity to be charitable and boost public relations in the process.

Verizon, Walmart and Texas Medical Technology are among those offering to help the more than 100,000 people who fled the country to the United States after Kabul fell to the Taliban on August 15.

Elsewhere, Amazon said it would offer jobs to refugees in the company’s department stores and transportation hubs, as well as in technology and business roles.

Airbnb, which is valued at about $ 107 billion, often offers to cover the cost of housing in an emergency. It says 75,000 people have found a place to live in a time of crisis since 2012.

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