Airbnb and Airbnb.org will provide temporary housing to 20,000 Afghan refugees worldwide. The company’s CEO, Brian Chesky, announced the move yesterday on Twitter.
The displacement and resettlement of Afghan refugees in the US and elsewhere is one of the biggest humanitarian crises of our time. We feel a responsibility to step up.
— Brian Chesky (@bchesky) August 24, 2021
Last week, Airbnb.org also gave emergency funding and support to the International Rescue Committee, HIAS, and Church World Service to provide immediate temporary stays via the Airbnb platform for up to 1,000 arriving Afghan refugees.
Think Global, House Local
The support that Airbnb is providing to Afghan refugees is needed. But what about all the other refugees in the world, including the refugees at our southern border—desperate people fleeing gang violence, environmental devastation, and economic ruin in Central America?
Earlier this year, Airbnb.org announced the creation of the $25 million Refugee Fund, to further expand Airbnb.org’s support of refugees and asylum seekers worldwide.
In 2017, Airbnb committed $4 million to the International Rescue Committee to support the housing needs of people impacted by the US executive order that halted refugee admissions and temporarily barred entry to people from seven Muslim-majority countries.
Airbnb is a purposeful brand leading the charge to help people in need. And the desire to help Afghan refugees, right now, is widespread. A new CBS News/YouGov poll shows that 76% of Republicans and 79% of 2020 Trump voters are among the 81% of Americans who want the U.S. to resettle our Afghan allies.
It would be easy to think that Airbnb is just another “brand with purpose” ready to capitalize on the misfortune of others. For many years, brands made symbolic gestures meant to help those in need, while casting the company in soft white light. Thankfully, this is different and better because it’s a grassroots movement that was recognized and then supported by the brand.