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Airbnb setting up free housing for up to 100,000 Ukraine refugees

Ukrainians flee amid invasion
At least 677,000 people have fled Ukraine as Russian invasion continues, UN says 07:17

Airbnb said it will help shelter some of the nearly 700,000 people who have fled Ukraine as Russian forces continue their assault of the Eastern European country. The initiative comes as the U.N. refugee agency on Tuesday warned that Europe would soon be dealing with what it called the continent's "largest refugee crisis this century." 

" is prepared to offer housing of up to 14 days for up to 100,000 refugees fleeing Ukraine," a spokesperson told CBS MoneyWatch in an email. The organization works with nonprofits on the ground to book and coordinate stays for refugees, who also receive a range of other support in their new lives, the spokesperson added.

Airbnb executives wrote to the leaders of Germany, Hungary, Poland and Romania offering help in temporarily housing refugees fleeing to their countries, the San Francisco company said Monday.

Thousands of refugees leave Ukraine, women and children flee as the men remain to fight 02:27

"While Airbnb is committing to facilitate short-term housing for up to 100,000 refugees fleeing Ukraine, it will work closely with governments to best support the specific needs in each country, including by providing longer-term stays," the company said in a statement. 

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky appealed to the public for help reaching the company's goal arranging housing for refugees, posting on social media that more people in the nations near to Ukraine need to offer their homes, and others can donate., a nonprofit affiliated with Airbnb, has been offering temporary housing for people displaced in crisis since Hurricane Sandy in 2012. The company last week said had surpassed its goal of providing temporary housing for 20,000 Afghan refugees

Roughly 677,000 refugees have now fled Ukraine to neighboring countries in the past six days, according to the latest government data compiled by UNHCR, the U.N. refugee agency.

Refugees rest in a tent at the border crossing in Medyka in eastern Poland as refugees continue to arrive from Ukraine on March 1, 2022. WOJTEK RADWANSKI/AFP via Getty Images

"At this rate, the situation looks set to become Europe's largest refugee crisis this century," a UNHCR spokesperson said in a press briefing in Geneva, Switzerland. 

Neighboring countries have kept their borders open for those fleeing Ukraine, with most refugees going to Poland, Hungary, Moldova, Romania and Slovakia, the spokesperson added.

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