Short-term rental platform Airbnb will provide emergency accommodation to thousands of Afghan refugees for free, CEO Brian Chesky has announced.
Chesky made the announcement on Tuesday evening (AEST) as troops scramble to evacuate people out of Afghanistan amid the Taliban’s recent takeover of Kabul.
“Starting today, Airbnb will begin housing 20,000 Afghan refugees globally for free,” Chesky announced on Twitter.
Airbnb hosts will be compensated by the rental platform to provide temporary accommodation for the refugees.
“The displacement and resettlement of Afghan refugees in the US and elsewhere is one of the biggest humanitarian crises of our time,” Chesky said. “We feel a responsibility to step up.”
The Airbnb CEO said he hoped the move would inspire other business leaders to do the same.
“There’s no time to waste.”
He encouraged people who were willing to host refugee families to reach out.
If you’re willing to host a refugee family, reach out and I’ll connect you with the right people here to make it happen!
— Brian Chesky (@bchesky) August 24, 2021
Chesky's tweet has already been liked more than 6,000 times and retweeted over 1,700 times at the time of publishing.
The Taliban seized control of Kabul and the Afghan presidential palace on 15 August. More than 28,000 people from Afghanistan have been evacuated.
Most Afghan refugees tend to flee to neighbouring Pakistan and Iran, according to The Conversation.
Australia will resettle more than 12,000 Afghan refugees in coming years, SMH reported yesterday.
The US is facing pressure from allies to extend the evacuation deadline of 31 August to give more time for troops to evacuate those who want to flee the country.
WATCH BELOW: Afghanistan evacuation at 'max effort' as deadline looms
Recent comments from US President Joe Biden that the US could extend the deadline were shut down by a Taliban spokesperson, who said it was tantamount to “extending occupation”.
“It's a red line. President Biden announced that on 31 August they would withdraw all their military forces. So if they extend it that means they are extending occupation while there is no need for that,” said Taliban spokesperson Suhail Shaheen.
“If the US or UK were to seek additional time to continue evacuations - the answer is no. Or there would be consequences.
“It will create mistrust between us. If they are intent on continuing the occupation it will provoke a reaction.”
Read next: Where does the Taliban get its money from?