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As the Afghanistan crisis unfolds, Airbnb and others step up to help

August 25, 2021, 9:42 AM UTC

Good morning. David Meyer here in Berlin, filling in for Alan.

In the unfolding tragedy of the Afghanistan withdrawal—the politics of which I will refrain from addressing here—it’s good to see a handful of companies trying to make things less horrible for some of the affected people.

First up is Airbnb, which has announced that it will organize accommodation for 20,000 Afghan refugees around the world, largely via its nonprofit. The money will come from the company, CEO Brian Chesky, and donors to the Refugee Fund—though, as Chesky noted on Twitter, the generosity of Airbnb’s hosts is also crucial.

Chesky also tweeted: “The displacement and resettlement of Afghan refugees in the US and elsewhere is one of the biggest humanitarian crises of our time. We feel a responsibility to step up. I hope this inspires other business leaders to do the same. There’s no time to waste.”

Airbnb and its associated nonprofit have already helped place 25,000 refugees in temporary accommodation over the past four years, and the NGO also recently stepped in to help those affected by Europe’s deadly summer floods. It and Airbnb’s hosts have also done a lot to support first responders and frontline workers during the pandemic.

Similarly, much as Verizon responded to the recent earthquake in Haiti by waiving calling charges to the country, it has now also done so for those trying to call Afghanistan. Verizon Consumer Group CEO Ronan Dunne: “During this time of need, customers need to stay connected with loved ones in Afghanistan.”

Walmart has also made a gesture, with its foundation committing $1 million to NGOs that aid incoming refugees, and veterans and their families who are also hurting right now. And finally, let’s not forget American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Atlas Air, Omni Air, Hawaiian Airlines and United Airlines, all of which are providing planes for transporting those who have been evacuated from Afghanistan.

I hope Chesky’s call for a wider corporate response to this humanitarian crisis does not fall on deaf ears. More news below.

David Meyer


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This edition of CEO Daily was edited by David Meyer.

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