(NewsNation Now) — As more than 500,000 refugees flee, efforts are underway to help Ukrainians find basic necessities, including shelter. Companies are mobilizing, including Airbnb, which has pledged to find free temporary housing for up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees.
“At Airbnb, our kind of superpower is our host community and the homes they have to provide. We saw a need and over the weekend we worked very quickly with our partner organizations on the ground to be able to to house 100,000 refugees fleeing Ukraine free of charge,” said Christopher Nulty, Airbnb spokesperson.
He continued, “We’ve been doing this for the last decade; we hosted approximately 55,000 refugees worldwide. Over the past six months, we have hosted approximately 21,000 Afghan refugees in the United States. So we’ve done this before, but never on the scale that we’re about to undertake in Eastern Europe.
Nulty said he contacted the governments of Poland, Germany, Hungary and Romania to offer their support. Although the situation is changing rapidly, he said they are focused on providing support where needed, wherever it exists, but are starting with these five countries and will continue to evolve.
Nulty said housing was paid for through Airbnb, airbnb.org and the generosity of some of their founders and others. But they go where the need is.
“Our goal here is to get as many people as possible into safe housing. We’ve also heard from many hosts who have said I’m willing to do this for free, which is just amazing. But we understand that for many hosts, that’s just not possible. And so we are stepping up and covering those stays,” Nulty explained.
Nulty said they work with several humanitarian organizations and refugee resettlement organizations, working directly with refugee families to help them identify where they need to be to find housing,
“We feel lucky to be able to work with such amazing organizations,” said Nulty.
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