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Airbnb will pay Leeds hosts to house up to 20,000 Afghan refugees

Company boss Brian Chesky has offered to host and pay for the board of up to 20,000 Afghan refugees at Airbnb properties

The online accommodation platform is calling for local hosts in Leeds to contact them directly if they would like to volunteer their properties.

Starting from today, the company has announced it will begin hosting 20,000 Afghan refugees for free at its properties in Leeds and across the country.

The cost of the refugees stays is to be funded by a mixture of contributions from Airbnb and company boss Brian Chesky directly.

The Airbnb.org Refugee Fund will also be used to contribute to the cost of their accommodation, which is funded entirely by donors.

Calling the current situation “one of the biggest humanitarian crises of our time”, company boss Mr. Chesky said the firm felt it was their responsibility to step in.

“I hope this inspires other business leaders to do the same. There’s no time to waste.”

“As tens of thousands of Afghan refugees resettle around the world, where they stay will be the first chapter in their new lives. For these 20,000 refugees, my hope is that the Airbnb community will provide them with not only a safe place to rest and start over, but also a warm welcome home.” he said.

Hosts of Airbnb properties have long been encouraged to open their doors to those in need, but this new move signifies a huge gesture by the company.

The company has a long-running ‘people in crisis’ scheme, first set up in 2012 in response to Hurricane Sandy which displaced more than 1,000 in New York City when the natural disaster hit more than a decade ago.

Since then, it has gone on to help more than 75,000 people in need – and looks set to continue to help many more.

Last week, the fund provided emergency cash to the International Rescue Committee, HIAS and Church World Service to help fund temporary stays for up to 1,000 arriving Afghan refugees.

Now, the company is going one step further – encouraging British hosts to open their doors long-term to house Afghan refugees in crisis.

If you are a host of an Airbnb in Leeds and want to offer your property, you can contact Brian Chesky directly here.

Feature image – EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid.

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