Feb 28, 2022 - World

Airbnb to offer housing to up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees

Displaced Ukrainian children arrive at a shelter in Tarpa, Hungary

Displaced Ukrainian children arrive at a shelter in Tarpa, Hungary. Photo: Akos Stiller/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Airbnb announced on Monday that it will offer free, short-term housing to up 100,000 refugees fleeing Ukraine.

The big picture: More than 500,000 Ukrainian refugees have arrived in neighboring countries since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine, according to the UN refugee agency, which expects the number to rise.

  • "Displacement in Ukraine is also growing but the military situation makes it difficult to estimate numbers and provide aid," said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi.

State of play: Airbnb.org, an independent nonprofit organization focused on providing temporary housing for people during crises, will work directly with other nonprofits to identify those who need short-term stay.

  • The lodgings will be funded by Airbnb, donors to the Airbnb.org Refugee Fund and Airbnb.org hosts. People interested in offering their homes do not need to be official Airbnb hosts.
  • Airbnb said that CEO Brian Chesky, Airbnb chief strategy officer Nathan Blecharzyk and nonprofit Airbnb.org chairman Joe Gebbia sent letters to the leaders Poland, Germany, Hungary and Romania supporting their decision to welcome refugees.

What they're saying: "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," the company said.

  • "We know that Hosts and guests on Airbnb around the world will be eager to stand up and assist this massive effort to help those fleeing Ukraine."

Go deeper: The latest on the Russian invasion of Ukraine

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