Airbnb, Hims and Hers and other companies to support Afghan refugees globally
[August 28, 2021: The Brighter Side of News]
Afghan refugees are led to a bus taking them to a refugee processing center upon arrival at Dulles International Airport in Dulles, Virginia August 25, 2021. (CREDIT: Kevin Lamarque)
The UN Refugee Agency said last month that an estimated 270,000 Afghans had been newly displaced inside the country since January. There are currently nearly 2.5 million registered refugees from Afghanistan, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
As of earlier this week, countries had evacuated around 58,700 people from the country’s capital, Kabul, since mid-August.
White House officials said 28 U.S. military flights ferried about 10,400 people to safety out of Taliban-held Afghanistan over 24 hours that ended early Monday morning, and 15 C-17 flights over the next 12 hours brought out another 6,660.
Amid the crisis, companies and governments are facing increasing pressure to aid refugees fleeing the country.
AirBNB opens up housing for 20,000 refugees
Airbnb opened the doors of its properties to 20,000 Afghan refugees globally Tuesday and sought assistance from hosts who rent property through the home-sharing company for more free housing for those fleeing the crisis.
“The displacement and resettlement of Afghan refugees in the U.S. and elsewhere is one of the biggest humanitarian crises of our time. We feel a responsibility to step up," said CEO Brian Chesky on Twitter. “I hope this inspires other business leaders to do the same. There's no time to waste."
Since 2012, Airbnb.org has housed 75,000 people fleeing or responding to a crisis, from COVID-19 health workers and earthquake or fire evacuees or responders, to refugees.
Hosts are allowed to sign up for the program through Airbnb.org.
“If you’re willing to host a refugee family, reach out and I’ll connect you with the right people here to make it happen!,” Chesky wrote Tuesday.
Hims & Hers offers 10,000 free medical visits to displaced Afghan refugees
Hims & Hers co-founder and CEO Andrew Dudum said Thursday that his company is in the process of distributing 10,000 primary care and mental health visits to displaced Afghan refugees.
Founded in 2017, San Francisco-based Hims & Hers has built out a multi-specialty telehealth platform that connects consumers to licensed healthcare professionals.
In a blog post, Dudum wrote that Hims & Hers felt a “moral responsibility to act — and fast.”
He added: “The eyes and hearts of the world are currently and understandably focused on Afghanistan and the refugees evacuating en masse. These people are looking for the most basic of needs.”
Dudum said that Hims & Hers plans to work with select NGOs, nonprofits and other relevant partners, including translators and the providers on its platform, “to make sure refugees are aware of these services and get the urgent support they need.” The visits are immediately available to refugees.
The CEO also said that Hims & Hers will be covering the cost of the medical visits but that they would be “delivered by the generous providers” through its platform.
It allows them to help families directly.
In fact, Popal was able to use donated funds to buy tickets for six Afghan family members that were stuck at the Washington Dulles International Airport and needed to get to Arizona, she said.
If "you're Afghan, the blood, our bloodline and just the love for our country…it's so strong that, you know, even from afar, we're hurt by it," Popal said. "And seeing what's going on every single day is is truly difficult for all of us."
Verizon offers free calls to Afghanistan
Verizon on Tuesday said it plans to waive charges for calls from its consumer, business and residential landline customers to Afghanistan up until Sep. 6.
“During this time of need, customers need to stay connected with loved ones in Afghanistan,” said Ronan Dunne, executive vice president and CEO of Verizon Consumer Group for Verizon. “Waiving these kinds of calling charges will help them focus on what matters: communicating with family and friends.”
The telco is also inviting customers to donate $10 to the International Rescue Committee by texting RESCUE to 25383.
Other firms supporting Afghan refugees
Byte said it is planning to donate at least 25,000 oral care kits to Afghan refugees being resettled in the U.S. and elsewhere. Neeraj Gunsagar, the company’s CEO, said he believes it’s a moral obligation and in the national interest of the U.S. to help the refugees in this crisis.
Discount retailer Walmart is donating $1 million to groups helping Afghan refugees in the U.S. through its philanthropic arm.
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Tags: #Good_News, #Charity, #Kindness, #Community_Service, #Companies, #Afghanistan, #Helping_Hand, #Refugees, #The_Brighter_Side_of_News