Afghan refugees are taken to a refugee processing center upon arrival at Dulles International Airport in Dulles, Va. On August 25, 2021.
Kevin Lamarck | Reuters
Businesses are rushing to help the thousands of refugees who have been evacuated from Afghanistan in recent days, who now face the daunting task of building a new life in an unknown country.
Airbnb, Verizon, Walmart and Texas Medical Technology are among those who have offered to help more than 100,000 people flee the country to the United States after Kabul fell to the Taliban on August 15.
On Tuesday, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky said the company plans to temporarily host 20,000 refugees globally for free.
The refugees will be accommodated in properties listed on the Airbnb platform and the stay will be funded by Airbnb, Chesky said on Twitter, without specifying how much the company plans to spend on the engagement or for how long. will be kept.
Airbnb on Thursday invited non-hosts to help through its dedicated emergency accommodation website, which allows owners to donate any available space for free or at a discount. Airbnb is urging people who don’t have available space to donate money to support housing efforts.
Although access to housing is essential, many refugees will need to find employment in their new country to become financially independent.
Texas Medical Technology, a supplier and distributor of medical supplies, has announced plans to hire 100 Afghan refugees within a year at a 144,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Houston.
10 Afghan refugees are expected to find jobs by the end of the month.
free calls to afghanistan
Then there is keeping in touch with friends and family who are still in Afghanistan, which will be important for some in the near future.
Verizon said Tuesday that it plans to remove charges for calls to Afghanistan from its consumer, business and residential landline customers by September 6.
“During this time of need, customers should stay in touch with loved ones in Afghanistan,” said Ronan Dunne, executive vice president and CEO of Verizon Consumer Group for Verizon. “Expecting these types of call charges will help them focus on what they’re doing – communicating with family and friends. “
The phone company also invites customers to donate $ 10 to the International Rescue Committee by writing RESCUE on 25383.
mental health support
The mental health toll for Afghan refugees could be enormous.
Hims & Hers, a telehealth platform that connects people with licensed medical professionals, said Wednesday it plans to make 10,000 mental health calls with Afghan refugees.
The company said in a blog post on the Hims & Hers website: “With the mission of providing access to high quality, convenient and affordable medical care, as well as personalized treatment plans and solutions. , we feel an ethical responsibility to act – and quickly. “
Byte said he plans to donate at least 25,000 oral care kits to Afghan refugees settled in the United States and elsewhere. Company CEO Neeraj Gunsagar said he believes it is a moral obligation and in the national interest of the United States to help refugees in this crisis.
Instead of providing direct support, some companies donate money to charity. For example, discount retailer Walmart is donating $ 1 million through its philanthropic arm to groups helping Afghan refugees in the United States.
Thousands of people are still trying to flee Afghanistan before the August 31 deadline set by President Joe Biden, and some fear those who wish to leave the country may not do so.
The Pentagon announced on Sunday that it had brought in 18 civilian planes from United Airlines, American Airlines and Delta Air Lines to help transport those parked to temporary locations after flights from Afghanistan land.