Airbnb is offering free, temporary housing for up to 100,000 refugees fleeing Ukraine.
The rental company’s CEO Brian Chesky has sent letters to the leaders of Poland, Romania, Germany and Hungary offering help to those escaping the war.
At least 300,000 Ukrainian refugees have entered the European Union so far after Russia invaded the country and the bloc needs to prepare for millions more, senior EU and French officials have said.
“We need help to meet this goal,” Chesky urged on Twitter this morning. “The greatest need we have is for more people who can offer their homes in nearby countries.”
Airbnb’s lesser-known non-profit arm Airbnb.org, chaired by co-founder Joe Gebbia, is dedicated to housing people during moments of crisis around the world.
More than 21,000 Afghan refugees have been housed through the organisation in the past six months, it announced last week.
How are the Airbnb stays organised?
Airbnb says it will work closely with governments to best support the specific needs of Ukrainian refugees in each country, including by providing longer-term stays, it said.
The stays will be funded by Airbnb, donors to the Airbnb.org Refugee Fund and hosts of Airbnb.org.
“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,” a statement from the company today read.
More details on how people can support the initiative will be provided in the coming days, including by offering free or discounted stays.
Other companies are waiving costs for Ukrainians
Several other companies have been quick to show their support for people and businesses in Ukraine.
Online crafts retailer Etsy is waiving balances of about $4 million (€3.6 million) owed by sellers in the country.
Verizon Communications has said it would waive calling charges to Ukraine for some customers, while Britain’s Virgin Media O2 has removed charges for data use in Ukraine.