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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  • Low blow, Joe!

    Posted by Ben

    13 May, 2014

    Somewhere deep inside, I still think that promises made to the poorest people in the world should be honoured. In my mind, I even imagine that I live in a country where others hold that view, or where governments live up to that ideal. I may be suffering from delusion here, but surely I'm not the only one. The Government is certainly doing its best to disabuse me of these quaint notions. The Prime Minister and Treasurer announced just hours before the 2013 election that they would not cut aid, merely slow its rate of growth. In the 2014–15 budget, however, we discover that there will be a further $3.1 billion in cuts. That means aid is now being cut by $7.6 billion over five years. Aid's tiny 1.3% of the Federal Budget is providing a whopping 20% of the Government's savings measures. So please remember that the people who are really doing the "heavy lifting" for tonight's budget cuts are poor and vulnerable people in our region and world. The Government announced at the time of the 2013 election that the aid budget would be… read more

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  • 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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