Airbnb announced it would offer free, temporary housing for up to 100,000 refugees fleeing Ukraine.
Chief Executive Brian Officer Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia, the chairman of the home rental company’s non-profit arm, said they have sent letters to leaders of Poland, Romania, Germany and Hungary offering help to house the refugees.
Announcing the news via Twitter, Chesky wrote: “Airbnb and Airbnb.org are working with our Hosts to house up to 100,000 refugees fleeing from Ukraine, for free.
“We need help to meet this goal. The greatest need we have is for more people who can offer their homes in nearby countries, including Poland, Germany, Hungary and Romania. If you can host a refugee, go here: airbnb.org/get-involved.”
“All stays are free for refugees, funded by Airbnb, Airbnb.org donors and through the generosity of Hosts.”
The company have previously stepped in to help with Afghan refugee crisis, and its recent move comes after news that at least 500,000 Ukrainian refugees have entered the European Union since Ukraine was invaded by Russia, according to the UN.
The non-profit company said it will work closely with governments to help address needs, as well as providing longer-term stays for those that need it.
The initiative will be funded by Airbnb, donors to the Airbnb.org Refugee Fund and hosts of Airbnb.org.
Several other companies have also offered support to businesses and consumers in Ukraine, with online crafts retailer Etsy waiving balances of about $4m owed by sellers in the country.
Verizon Communications said it would waive calling charges to Ukraine for some customers, while Virgin Media O2 has removed charges for data use in Ukraine.