WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Businesses are rallying to help thousands of refugees who fled Afghanistan after Kabul fell to the Taliban.
- Airbnb CEO and co-founder Brian Chesky announced last week that the company is offering free accommodations to 20,000 refugees around the world.
- Other companies extending support include Verizon, Walmart and Texas Medical Technology.
US businesses are rallying to support the thousands of refugees who have been evacuated from Afghanistan in recent days.
Companies including Airbnb, Verizon, Walmart and Texas Medical Technology are among those that have offered to help the more than 100,000 Afghans facing uncertainties in an unfamiliar country.
Last week, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky said the company is offering to accommodate 20,000 refugees around the world free of charge.
The company proposed to temporarily house the refugees in properties listed on Airbnb’s platform. Additionally, the accommodations will be paid for by Airbnb, Chesky announced on Twitter. The CEO did not specify how much is the company’s budget on the commitment or how long refugees will be housed.
To gain financial independence, refugees will need to find jobs in their new homes.
Texas Medical Technology is planning to hire 100 Afghan refugees within a year. The medical equipment supplier plans to employ 10 Afghan refugees by the end of the month at its 144,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Houston.
Free calls to Afghanistan
On Tuesday, Verizon announced its plan to waive charges for calls to Afghanistan from its consumer, business and residential landline customers who wish to keep in contact with family and friends who were not able to leave the country. The telco said the free calls are up until Sept. 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.”
Verizon is also urging customers to donate $10 to the International Rescue Committee by texting RESCUE to 25383.
Mental health support
Hims & Hers, a telehealth platform that connects people to licensed healthcare professionals, said Wednesday that it is planning to do 10,000 mental health calls with Afghan refugees.
“With a mission to provide access to high-quality, convenient and affordable medical care and personalized treatment plans and solutions, we feel a moral responsibility to act — and fast,” the company said in a blog post on the Hims & Hers website.
Byte, an invisible-aligner-for-teeth company, said it is planning to donate at least 25,000 oral care kits to Afghan refugees in the U.S. and elsewhere. CEO Neeraj Gunsagar said he believes it’s a moral obligation and in the national interest of the nation to help the refugees in this crisis.
Some businesses opt to donate money to charities. Walmart is donating $1 million to groups helping Afghan refugees in the country.
The last plane carrying the final U.S. troops in Afghanistan flew out of Kabul Monday, ending America’s longest war.