Micah Challenge Australia Blog

 

The Micah Challenge blog is a space for discussion and debate about the issues of global poverty, faith, advocacy and justice and the Millennium Development Goals. This blog aims to provoke thought and challenge you to learn more about the issues discussed. We welcome your comments.

Micah Challenge is a global campaign of Christians speaking out against poverty and injustice. Click here to visit the Micah Challenge website.

  • JB's Final Thoughts

    Posted by John

    22 December, 2014

    After 10 years of helping Christians and churches hold governments around the world to account for their promises to halve world poverty by 2015, the first phase of the Micah Challenge campaign will come to an end this month. The overwhelming sense amongst our wonderful partners is that beyond 2015 and the end date for the MDGs there will be much to do. (These messages from 7 kids born in the year 2000 is an inspiring reminder of why we need to finish what we started.) We feel deep in our hearts that a real opportunity exists to take this work to another level, so we will be reopening these doors again in the first half of 2015. Our supporters and the public will see a fresh brand and a new vision, but they will experience the same commitment to ensuring that Christians are advocating for and with the global poor. As Micah Challenge closes its doors, it’s also time for me to move on to new things. I have had the enormous privilege of helping to guide this work for almost 6 years. Now it’s time to say farewell. I know that Ben and the team here will… read more

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  • The biggest aid cut in Australia's history

    Posted by Ben

    16 December, 2014

    With due deference to the terror and tragedy of unfolding events in Sydney's Martin Place yesterday, the Government delayed by a few hours the release of its mid-year budget update. However, when the Treasurer finally announced his plans, it was terrible news for Australia's aid program. On top of the $7.6 billion already ripped out of Australian aid since coming to office, the Government is planning to cut a further $3.7 billion from aid over the next four years. Despite the fact that aid represents just over 1% of the Federal Government's budget, cuts to aid represent more than a quarter of all the budget cuts this Government has made in the 15 months since coming to office. These cuts will take Australian aid to their lowest recorded levels and include the largest single-year cut to aid in Australian history – $1 billion or 20% taken out of the budget from this year to next. At a time when Australia's economy is growing, when our debt is 6th lowest among all developed countries, these cuts will plunge our contribution to global… read more

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  • Politics, protest and prayer

    Posted by Ben

    16 December, 2014

    In light of the Government's aid cuts announced yesterday, I want to step back and consider the politics and process for a moment. If you're like me, you may well feel demoralised and defeated. For years we have been highlighting the significance of Australia's aid program, the good it achieves in our region and beyond, and the fact that Australia has made commitments to the world's poor in the Millennium Development Goals and in solemn pledges to increase aid. Yet again and again we see Australian Governments (both Labor and Coalition) turning to the aid program to find a disproportionate share of budget cuts and savings, damaging the effectiveness of our aid and harming some of the world's poorest people. We have protested these delays, diversions and cuts time and time again – regardless of which side of politics was in office at the time. We protested Gillard's delays, diversions and broken promises. We have spoken out against Abbott's cuts and broken promises. Yet every cut seems to be followed by something even worse. Why?… read more

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  • How do we rate the G20 Summit?

    Posted by Ben

    18 November, 2014

    The barricades have come down. The thunderous whomp of helicopters no longer echoes overhead. The motorcades of world leaders no longer crowd Brisbane’s streets and their planes have left the tarmac at Brisbane airport. Protestors and demonstrators, having raised their voices peacefully and often creatively, have returned home. The leaders' communiqué – all three tightly-crafted pages of it – has been released, outlining the work and results of this gathering of some of the world’s most powerful national leaders. When Micah Challenge began campaigning on tax and transparency, we knew that the Brisbane G20 in 2014 would be a key moment in shaping a global tax system that genuinely worked for the poor and cracked down on multinational tax dodging that robs poor countries of the revenue that they need to reduce poverty. On that score, how do we rate the summit? First, we are encouraged that G20 leaders acknowledge the nature and scale of the problem of tax dodging and the way it impacts low-income countries. Prime Minister… read more

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