New Zealand will give $500,000 to the International Committee of the Red Cross to help Syrian refugees and those affected by the conflict in Lebanon.

The ICRC was providing urgently needed humanitarian assistance to more than 260,000 people affected by the conflicts, Foreign Minister Murray McCully said.

Mr McCully said civil unrest in Lebanon was creating a deepening crisis for people, many of whom had already fled fighting in Syria.

"The shocking violence in Syria continues to escalate. More the 25,000 civilians have been killed and more than 1.2 million people have been displaced.'


"With no clear end to this conflict in sight the refugee situation is likely to deteriorate further and international action is required," said Mr McCully.

New Zealand has given $1.5 million in funding to support refugee populations in Turkey and Jordan.