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Airbnb has announced that it will provide 20,000 Afghan refugees with free temporary accommodation around the world, working with partners such as former British Foreign Minister Ed Miliband.

Airbnb CEO and Co-Founder Brian Chesky revealed on Twitter that from Tuesday, the company “Will start hosting 20,000 Afghan refugees around the world free of charge. “

“The displacement and resettlement of Afghan refugees in the United States and elsewhere is one of the greatest humanitarian crises of our time. We feel responsible for stepping up ”, Chesky said, expressing his hope that other business leaders “do the same” like “There’s no time to lose.”

Chesky also called on those who would be willing to welcome Afghan refugees to their properties to contact the company.

Airbnb’s program will be funded by the company and its CEO, as well as donors to Airbnb’s “Refugee Fund”.

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Airbnb’s CEO did not disclose how long the refugees would be housed and the company did not respond to several news outlets that requested it, including CNN.

In a separate statement, Chesky said “The Airbnb community will provide” Afghan refugees “With not only a safe place to rest and start over, but also a warm welcome home.

Several NGOs are partnering with Airbnb for this program, including the New York-based International Rescue Committee, headed by former British Foreign Minister David Miliband.

Miliband – who held several cabinet posts under former prime ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown and also worked as Blair’s chief policy officer – praised the Airbnb plan in a statement of his own, noting than “Accessible housing is urgently needed and essential”.

Blair’s 1997-2007 Labor government supported and aided the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, which ultimately led to a major Afghan refugee crisis, which worsened after US troops withdrew from the country after Almost 20 years of occupation this month amid a Taliban takeover.

The United Nations Refugee Agency estimates the number of registered Afghan refugees at 2.5 million. Other figures, however, put the number at over 3.5 million – with around 270,000 displaced since January of this year.

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