"It’s difficult to know what we can do so far away from the terrible scenes we are seeing in the Mediterranean. Red Cross is there on the ground and our links with the international response mean that New Zealanders can directly support the people working on the beaches and areas where the need is greatest,” Secretary General, Tony Paine, said.

“This terrible crisis is bringing out the best in people all around the world and New Zealanders can stand alongside the rest of humanity as we work together to ensure everyone on the planet has somewhere safe they can call home.”

He said Kiwis can help by:

Mr Paine said New Zealand Red Cross was being inundated by requests from people asking how they can assist.“Kiwis have always been generous in the face of global tragedies and we’ve always welcomed refugees fleeing violence. Sadly, the scale of the crisis means it’s time to say ‘we need to do more’.”