Walmart joins Afghanistan refugee rescue efforts, commits $1M

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Walmart has stepped in to help with refugee resettlement efforts and to support veterans amid the chaotic U.S. pullout from Afghanistan, committing $1 million to non-profits dedicated to assisting those impacted.

"We’re looking to the cross-cultural experience of our veteran and Afghan associates to support refugees, service members and one another, as veteran leaders at Walmart explore ways to support these efforts," Dan Bartlett, Walmart's executive vice president of corporate affairs, said in a statement explaining the move. "We’re offering options for customers to get involved. And the Walmart Foundation is committing $1 million to three nonprofits supporting Afghan refugees entering the U.S., as well as veterans and their families."

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The retail behemoth's $1 million donation will be distributed between No One Left Behind, which describes itself as an "association of wartime allies in the U.S. dedicated to ensuring that America keeps its promise to our interpreters from Iraq and Afghanistan;" the Lutheran Immigration and Rescue Service, an organization working to provide support for Afghan refugees arriving in the U.S.; and the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), a group that operates a 24-hour helpline for veterans and those grieving the loss of a military loved one.

Families evacuated from Kabul, Afghanistan, walk through the terminal to board a bus after they arrived at Washington Dulles International Airport, in Chantilly, Va., on Saturday, Aug. 21, 2021.  (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana / AP Newsroom)

Walmart is not the only company to step in and offer assistance in the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan.

Airbnb also announced Tuesday that it would cover the cost of housing for 20,000 Afghan refugees resettled in countries around the world, after non-profit last week gave emergency funding to International Rescue Committee (IRC), HIAS and Church World Service in order to help provide "immediate temporary stays" on Airbnb for up to 1,000 arriving Afghan refugees. 


Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky called the displacement and resettlement of Afghan refugees "one of the biggest humanitarian crises of our time," and added that he hoped other business leaders would step in to help because "there’s no time to waste."

Tens of thousands of Afghans are trying to flee the war-tarn nation that fell to the Taliban earlier this month following President Biden's announcement that U.S. troops would leave the country on Aug. 31 after 20 years of occupation. The commander in chief has since sent thousands more troops back, while the evacuation of American citizens and refugees alike continues.

Biden said Tuesday that he is sticking with his deadline for having all U.S. military personnel out of Afghanistan by Aug. 31, which is one week away.

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