Humanitarian crises like those that forced people to flee Afghanistan and the war in Ukraine often capture the attention of the world and compel people and organizations to take action. Long after the headlines fade, however, the needs of those displaced from their homes endure.
To mark World Refugee Day, Airbnb.org is bringing attention to the resilience, plight and ongoing struggles of refugees around the world. Since its founding in December 2020, Airbnb.org has worked with organizations around the world to connect nearly 200,000 refugees and asylum seekers with free, temporary stays.
Announcing new Airbnb.org commitments for refugee relief
As we honor the strength and courage of people fleeing conflict and persecution, Airbnb.org is announcing new initiatives to deepen its support for refugees and asylum seekers:
- $2 million Sponsorship Initiative for refugees and asylum seekers entering the US. Thanks to a generous contribution from The Shapiro Foundation, Airbnb.org is establishing a Sponsorship Initiative to provide grants for housing support and match fundraising efforts of select refugee-focused nonprofit organizations that connect newcomers with sponsors in the US. The initiative supports expanded legal pathways for refugees to resettle in new communities in the US.
- $1 million in additional funding to Airbnb.org’s Refugee Fund. Launched in June 2021, the Refugee Fund, helps support Airbnb.org’s longtime work with refugees and asylum seekers worldwide, including those crossing international borders. This additional funding will be distributed as a combination of grants and direct vouchers to guests to help nonprofits and local government agencies continue to meet the needs of refugees and asylum seekers in the US and Latin America.
Meeting ongoing refugee needs
People fleeing Ukraine, Afghanistan, Syria, and Venezuela account for nearly two-thirds of the world’s refugees, according to research from UNHCR. Millions of them need a temporary place to stay. Today Airbnb.org works closely with organizations like IOM, Nova Ukraine, Global Empowerment Mission (GEM), CWS, and HIAS to deliver support for refugees and asylum seekers from these and other countries.
Together with organizations, Hosts, and donors, Airbnb.org has provided emergency stays for thousands of refugees, including:
refugees from Ukraine
refugees from Afghanistan
refugees from other countries, including Syria and Venezuela
None of this work would be possible without Airbnb.org’s growing network of humanitarian organizations, Hosts, and donors. Mary, for example, is an Airbnb.org Host in Berlin. After news of Russia’s invasion in Ukraine, she decided to list her apartment free of charge and worked with Airbnb.org partner ORAM to host four LGBTQ+ guests who were forced from their homes during the war. All of them found a safe space in Mary’s apartment, including Dima and his cat, Peach. Dima says staying with Mary was a “gigantic boost to [his] start” in Berlin, largely because the two formed a connection over meals at Mary’s kitchen table and continued to stay in touch after Dima moved into another apartment.
Mary is one of more than 91,000 Hosts across 189 countries and regions who have signed up to house guests at no cost or at a discount through Airbnb.org since the organization was founded.
“A lot of times, with the efforts that we put into things, we don’t necessarily see the results. But with this, I could make a difference in at least one person’s life.”
—Mary, Airbnb.org Host in Berlin
Supporting Airbnb.org’s work for refugees and beyond
As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Airbnb.org relies heavily on the generosity of donors and its broader community to continue providing emergency stays in times of crisis. To honor World Refugee Day, please consider donating to Airbnb.org. Currently, all donations will be matched up to a collective total of $5 million USD.