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IOM Partners with Airbnb to rescue people Fleeing Ukraine

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Airbnb.org have announced their partnership to connect people fleeing from Ukraine to free, short-term housing in Poland, Moldova, Romania, Hungary and Slovakia.

Over 2 million people have fled to neighboring countries by the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Last week, Airbnb.org committed to offer free, temporary housing for up to Airbnb fleeing Ukraine, and to date, more than 15,000 hosts have signed up through Airbnb.org to offer their homes for free or at a discount around the world.

“Airbnb.org is proud to be working alongside IOM once again, this time to support those fleeing Ukraine, and to assist in what has become one of the largest humanitarian crises of our lifetime,” said Joe Gebbia, Airbnb co-founder and chairman of Airbnb.org.

“We are grateful for the continued generosity of the Airbnb community, who have opened their homes to refugees or have donated to Airbnb.org’s efforts. If you have space to host, please consider helping Airbnb.org and IOM in offering temporary housing to those in need fleeing Ukraine.”

IOM provides vital support to migrants across the world, responding to emergency events and providing advice on migration policy and practice. Through this partnership with Airbnb.org, IOM will help provide temporary housing over the coming weeks and months for all those fleeing the conflict in Ukraine. These stays are free and are funded by Airbnb, Inc., donors to the Airbnb.org Refugee Fund, and the generosity of Hosts through Airbnb.org. All Airbnb fees are waived for Airbnb.org refugee stays.

“The provision of safe, private and accessible accommodation is of critical importance,” says Deputy Director General Amy Pope. “IOM is proud to partner with Airbnb.org and help in providing a safe and warm place to stay. The winter is still quite severe in many places and providing warmth and security has an impact not only just the physical wellbeing of all those fleeing Ukraine, but also their emotional and mental state. Many will need a safe space to process the events of the last few days and to rest their weary hearts. We are grateful to all the hosts through Airbnb and Airbnb.org that have opened their home and their hearts during this time.”

IOM is on the ground, mobilizing teams and boosting capacity in Ukraine and neighboring countries to respond to the growing humanitarian needs of Ukrainians forced to flee the country, those internally displaced, and stranded third country nationals. IOM’s priority is the safety and protection of all those fleeing the country and their ability to access assistance. IOM is screening and assessing potential vulnerabilities and risks, including for human trafficking, child protection, health and mental health, and the arrival of more vulnerable people with special needs, including elderly, wounded or sick people.

As of March 4, 2022, nationals from 138 countries have crossed the borders into neighboring states. Many left with only the clothes on their backs and a handful prized possessions. Finding safety and shelter in an unknown place is daunting for many.

“I haven’t slept since the war started,” says Zoya*, at the Siret border between Ukraine and Romania, where over 150,000 people arrived since the start of the conflict. “We couldn’t take anything, just some clothes and documents. We have no relatives in Romania. I ran away with my three children.”

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IOM, Airbnb and Airbnb.org have a history of partnering to support the refugee community around the world, and have worked together, beginning in 2019, to offer housing to Syrian and Afghan refugees in Romania.

Over the past five years, Airbnb and Airbnb.org have connected more than 54,000 refugees and asylum seekers – including from Syria, Venezuela and Afghanistan – to temporary housing through Airbnb.org partners. Along with supporting refugees, Airbnb.org has nearly a decade of experience in providing emergency accommodation to those in need, including activating Airbnb.org’s emergency response program to provide those affected by the devastating floods across Western Europe.

People fleeing Ukraine in need of temporary housing can contact IOM at prykhystok@iom.int. Anyone who is interested in supporting this initiative can go to airbnb.org/help-ukraine to get involved, including by offering free or discounted stays or donating.

About Airbnb.org

Airbnb.org is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to facilitating temporary stays for people in times of crisis around the world. Airbnb.org operates independently and leverages Airbnb, Inc.’s technology, services, and other resources at no charge to carry out Airbnb.org’s charitable purpose.

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