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Sonny Bill Williams visits Middle East amid refugee crisis

Rugby star Sonny Bill Williams is currently in the Middle East to bring attention to the refugee crisis as part of a Unicef campaign.

The All Black is joined by newsreader and Unicef ambassador Mike McRoberts, who has done several reporting stints in the Middle East as part of his career.

Unicef have been posting video and photos of the pair's visit on their Facebook and Twitter accounts, including footage of SBW doing a virtual tour of a camp using headgear before he even left for the region.

He also talks about how heartbreaking it is to see children, especially as he is a parent himself.

"Once you become a parent, you understand the heartache that parents over there must feel," he says.

"You can picture your daughter or son in that same situation."

Sonny Bill Williams with Syrian War refugees in Lebanon. Source: Supplied

He is currently in Lebanon visiting an unofficial camp, and is pictured meeting families and playing with kids.

The Syrian refugee crisis has let to the displacement of more than 16 million people, the majority of which have fled Syria due to war into neighbouring countries such as Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Turkey and Egypt.

About half of the country's original population of 11 million has now left the country, or died due to the civil war.

The war began following anti-government demonstrations in 2011, known as Arab Spring, which then prompted a violent government crackdown.

Rebel groups have fought against the government since in the complex war, which has been further complicated by the involvement of overseas factions and political forces.