Gaza Children On Top of the World

02 September 2009

It’s official: World Kite Flying Record Smashed

2 September 2009


The Guinness Book of World Records has officially notified the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) that the attempt by the children of Gaza to achieve a new world record for the largest number of kites flown simultaneously has been successful. In a letter of congratulation, the Guinness Book of World Records informed the Agency that the new record of 3,170 kites has been approved. The previous record was 967. UNRWA organized the world record event at the Al-Waha beach in the Gaza Strip on 30 July 2009.

A delighted UNRWA Commissioner General, Karen AbuZayd, said “This shows what the children of Gaza can do. They would be world record breakers in so many ways if they lived in an environment that gave them the freedom to reach their full potential.”

UNRWA educates over two hundred thousand children in 221 primary schools in the Gaza Strip and has half a million students in schools across the Middle East.


Background Information

UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and is mandated to provide assistance and protection to a population of some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip to achieve their full potential in human development, pending a just solution to their plight. UNRWA’s services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, and microfinance.

Financial support to UNRWA has not kept pace with an increased demand for services caused by growing numbers of registered refugees, expanding need, and deepening poverty. As a result, the Agency's General Fund (GF), supporting UNRWA’s core activities and 97 per cent reliant on voluntary contributions, has begun each year with a large projected deficit. Currently the deficit stands at more than US$ 106  million.

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