Airbnb (NASDAQ: ABNB), no longer just a simple bed-and-breakfast operation but a company worth about $130 billion, can make a difference in the world -- and it is. This short-term rental giant just announced it's going to take in 20,000 Afghan refugees who are desperately trying to escape Afghanistan, which is now, once again, ruled by the Taliban regime.
As people are being evacuated from Afghanistan, they need a place to stay. In this past week, Airbnb announced how it will help: "Today, Airbnb and Airbnb.org are announcing that Airbnb.org will provide temporary housing to 20,000 Afghan refugees worldwide -- the cost of which is funded through contributions to Airbnb.org from Airbnb and Brian Chesky, as well as donors to the Airbnb.org Refugee Fund."
Brian Chesky is the CEO of Airbnb, and Airbnb.org is its charitable organization, an independent nonprofit that facilitates stays for people in crisis.
Already, Airbnb.org provided emergency funding to groups like the International Rescue Committee (IRC) to pay for immediate temporary stays on the Airbnb platform for up to 1,000 Afghan refugees around the world and 165 refugees in the United States so these people can start rebuilding their lives.
There are no details on how long the current Afghan refugees can stay, but hosts are offering both short- and long-term stays.
A humanitarian crisis
The world is watching an enormous humanitarian crisis unfold as the United States announced it was pulling out of Afghanistan after 20 years. On Aug. 15, the Afghan government collapsed, and the Taliban gained power once again, just as it had from 1996 to 2001.
The Taliban have been blamed for providing sanctuary to Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda after the 2001 World Trade Center attacks in New York (9/11), making the Taliban a dangerous terrorist regime.
The Taliban introduced Sharia law when they were last in power, conducting public executions (stoning to death) for murderers and adulterers and amputations for the crime of theft. Under the Taliban regime, men had to grow beards, and women were required to wear burkas. Girls couldn't attend school. Women were forced to marry, killed for not obeying certain rules, and beaten for showing an inch or two of skin or for trying to study.
The Millionacres bottom line
Americans and Afghan citizens who aided the U.S. during those 20 years of U.S. occupation could be in grave danger if they stay in the country. Housing is urgently needed to help resettle Afghans in the United States. Airbnb is encouraging the global business community to join its efforts to help Afghan refugees. Says Chesky: "There's no time to waste." Go to Airbnb.org to help.