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The Margin: Airbnb offers free short-term housing to 100,000 Ukraine refugees

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Airbnb Inc.
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wants to offer free, short-term housing to 100,000 refugees fleeing from Ukraine as Russia’s invasion of the country drags on.

Airbnb will fund these stays through donations to the company’s Refugee Fund associated with its non-profit organization Airbnb.org, according to a company statement, as well as through the generosity of the hosts on its platform.

“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 statement continues.

Guests must agree to Airbnb.org’s eligibility criteria before being able to book emergency stays. This includes being recognized refugees and being in the process of seeking asylum, a Special Immigrant Visa (SIV), or other immigration status designations with a similar humanitarian purpose. And guests must be referred to the program by an official partner of Airbnb.org.

See also: FIFA suspends Russia from the World Cup ‘until further notice’ over invasion of Ukraine

Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky also wrote on Twitter
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that the company needs help from people in European countries near Ukraine, like Poland and Germany, who can take in refugees.

Airbnb.org, the company’s 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, announced last week that it has provided housing to 21,300 Afghan refugees in the last 6 months.  and the organization hopes to provide free, temporary housing to another 20,000 refugees from Afghanistan, Africa, the Middle East, Central and South America and other regions. 

See also: ‘This might be the last time you see me alive’: Zelensky reportedly concedes in call with EU leaders that he’s in personal peril

The United Nations has estimated that more than 500,000 people have already escaped Ukraine amid Russia’s invasion, with more likely to follow.

See also: IOC recommends banning athletes from Russia and Belarus from the Olympics, World Cup

Airbnb did not specify how much it will spend on this effort to secure housing for refugees fleeing Ukraine, and the company was not immediately available for comment.

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