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Airbnb to house 20,000 Afghan refugees for free worldwide, CEO says

The company will pay for stays at rentals listed on its platform across the globe.

Angela Lang/CNET

Airbnb will start housing 20,000 Afghan refugees around the world in properties listed on its platform, CEO Brian Chesky said Tuesday. In a series of tweets, Chesky said the company will pay for these temporary stays, which will be organized by, its nonprofit arm, as well as other partner and aid organizations. 

Since Taliban forces took control of Afghanistan earlier this month, thousands of foreigners and Afghan citizens have been desperately attempting to leave the country. On Monday, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said the US has evacuated more than 37,000 people since Aug. 14, including American citizens, Afghan allies and Afghans at risk of persecution and violence.

See also: Crisis in Afghanistan: How to help refugees and their families

On Tuesday, Chesky urged people willing to host a refugee family to reach out, and he called on business leaders to step up their support.

"As tens of thousands of Afghan refugees resettle around the world, where they stay will be the first chapter in their new lives," he said in a blog post. "For these 20,000 refugees, my hope is that the Airbnb community will provide them with not only a safe place to rest and start over, but also a warm welcome home."

Airbnb started its emergency Open Homes program in 2012, where hosts on the short-term rental service could open their homes for free to people in times of need. The company later merged that program with another effort to provide temporary housing to COVID-19 responders, creating