By Peter McLaren-Kennedy • 14 March 2022 • 8:06
$2M raised by people booking Airbnb in Ukraine
People have been booking rooms in Ukraine through Airbnb raising more than $2M (1,8 million euros), the bookings being made on the understanding that they will never take up the accommodation.
As at the end of the first week in March more than 61,000 rooms had been booked, part of a creative social media campaign to channel funds into besieged cities where something like aid drops or supply trucks can’t reach.
Within 48 hours of launching the campaign more than $1.9 million (1,74 million euros) was raised.
Volodymyr Bondarenko a resident of Kyiv, told CNN that more than 10 people had booked rooms in a single day. He said “This was surprising, it’s very supportive at the moment.
“I told many of my relatives and friends that I plan to use this money to help our people who need it at this time.”
Airbnb has been offering temporary housing in neighbouring countries for fleeing Ukrainians as well as waiving guest and host fees in the country to support individuals donating.
Haven Thorn, Airbnb spokesperson said: “We are so humbled by the inspiring generosity of our community during this moment of crisis.”
H eocntinued saying that anyone who can help is by opening their home to Ukrainian refugees as an Airbnb host or who wishes to raise money in this way should visit their website. Airbnb will cover hosts with Aircover, a one million dollar (800,000 euro) hosting insurance policy. Airbnb who work with many of the non-profits and charities will also contribute to the guests’ basic needs.
The hospitality service isn’t the only community-based service that is helping out. Etsy has decided to cancel the current balances owed to Etsy by all sellers in Ukraine, which includes listing fees, transaction fees, advertising fees, and more—a roughly $4 million (3.2 million euros) relief package.
An online portal in Ireland organised by the Irish Red Cross to allow those who wish to come for forward with offers to host refugees crashed after receiving more than 4,000 pledges on the first night. .
Secretary General of the Irish Red Cross, Liam O’Dwyer, said he was “astonished” by the number of housing pledges.
The Temporary Protection Directive was activated in Ireland, as by all EU member states in response to the Ukraine Crisis. It sets prevailing norms for the treatment of displaced persons in order to ensure no EU country is singled out for mass influxes of refugees based on favourable social policies.
It establishes access to basic medical care, temporary housing, access to the labour market, and education and social welfare.
The move by Airbnb to allow people to book in Ukraine as well as to host refugees is just one of many such initiatives, in their case they have raised more than $2M for people firectly affected by the conflict.
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Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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