Airbnb offers 20,000 Afghan refugees free housing

Airbnb offers 20,000 Afghan refugees free housing as people flee Taliban
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Airbnb chief executive Brian Chesky tweeted that he and his company 'feel a responsibility to step up' as Afghans continue to flee the Taliban.
Evacuation flights from Kabul airport are ongoing [KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty]

Online accommodation platform Airbnb offered on Tuesday to house 20,000 Afghan refugees for free around the world, as people flee Kabul following the Taliban takeover.

"The displacement and resettlement of Afghan refugees in the US and elsewhere is one of the biggest humanitarian crises of our time," Airbnb chief executive Brian Chesky wrote on Twitter.

"We feel a responsibility to step up," he said.

Airbnb has made it possible for hosts to offer temporary housing to people fleeing conflict and natural disasters through its Open Homes platform since 2012.

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The cost of the stays for Afghan evacuees will be funded through contributions from Airbnb and Chesky as well as donors to the Airbnb.org Refugee Fund, the company said in a statement.

"I hope this inspires other business leaders to do the same. There's no time to waste," Chesky said.

About 50,000 foreigners and Afghans have fled the country from Kabul's airport since the Taliban swept to power on August 15, according to the US government.

Who's who of the Taliban?
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White House officials said 28 US military flights ferried about 10,400 people to safety out of Taliban-held Afghanistan over 24 hours that ended early Monday morning, and 15 C-17 flights over the next 12 hours brought out another 6,660.

The UN Refugee Agency said last month that an estimated 270,000 Afghans had been newly displaced inside the country since January – primarily due to insecurity and violence – bringing the total uprooted population to over 3.5 million.