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.

  • My Budget Rules (2014 Season)

    Posted by Ben

    13 May, 2014

    It's the second Tuesday in May, which can mean only one thing: tonight is budget night. The economy's night of nights. Treasurer Joe Hockey's time on centre stage. By now (as with every other budget I can remember), endless budget meetings have been held inside government, stories about budget plans have been planted, numbers leaked, and rumours of cuts and spending have been endlessly speculated about. But tonight all that ends when the budget is handed down. How will we at Micah Challenge judge the Abbott Government's first budget? First, when it comes to aid, we'll be assessing the budget on how well the programs and country focus are able to demonstrate impact in reducing poverty. We agree that Australian aid is an investment in regional and global security and prosperity. However, the returns on that investment can't be measured in dollar terms alone. For just 1.3% of the Federal Budget, Australian aid contributes to a lot of good in the world. Focus on aid-for-trade or economic growth doesn't automatically translate into… read more

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  • Marta's Story

    Posted by Salome

    29 April, 2014

    If you’re like me, you don’t know much about Ghana. You’ve most likely retained enough from your geography classes to know that it’s located somewhere in Africa (I’m sure your teachers are very proud), but that’s probably the extent of your knowledge. Well let me introduce you to Ghana, and a hard-working woman named Marta who lives there. Ghana in recent years has done much in an attempt to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. The number of people going hungry in the last two decades has been reduced by 75 amongst both girls and boys. Ghana is seen by many as a “model for economic and political development”(1), yet it still has a long way to go to end poverty. Women are 70 times more likely to die in childbirth in Ghana than in Britain, and children are 13 times more likely to die before the age of 5. Overall, Ghana ranks 130 out of the 169 countries in the UN Human Development Index. (2) One of the key ways that Ghana has managed to reduce the poverty rates in the last few decades is not mainly through aid,… read more

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  • A new lens for Lent

    Posted by Joel

    17 April, 2014

    One of the remaining redeeming features of Easter is the fact that relatively speaking, unlike Christmas, it has not been over-commercialised. But it's still plagued by ignorance so that in many communities in our increasingly diverse and secularised cultures, the Passion story remains unknown. Lots of people are totally unable to recognise some of the historic facts associated with the story. There are thousands of people in so-called Christian countries who don't know who Pilate is. It wouldn't surprise me if there were people out there who think that Easter is some kind of story about giant eggs. The greater ignorance is the total lack of awareness that the Easter event 2,000 years ago was God's best expression of his love for the world expressed in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and that forgiveness, healing and wholeness remain at the heart of the story. So we must never undervalue the importance of this Lenten season which leads us to the way of the Cross and which cuts a path through the cynicism and hopelessness of… read more

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  • The Complexities of Overseas Aid

    Posted by Cecilia

    16 April, 2014

    Overseas aid is a $5 billion slice of Australia’s $376 billion federal budget. It’s not the magic bullet to end poverty by any means, but it can play a powerful role in supporting essential services and life-saving assistance where resources are low or non-existent, as well as building capacity and opportunity to help households and communities make sustainable exits out of poverty.Ever since the government announced its plan to change the focus of the Australian aid program, to focus more on “economic diplomacy” and “aid for trade” there has been increasing public discourse about what makes aid effective. Looking at some of the country aid performance reports for 2012-2013 released recently by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, gives some ideas about what effective aid looks like. Poverty, of course, is multifaceted with a wide range of causes, many of which are country specific and may change over time. Australia’s aid programs seeks to help address issues such as health, education, food security,… read more

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