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.

  • The shocking image of Aylan and 60 million reasons to act

    Posted by Benn

    9 September, 2015

    Over the past week, a single image of a drowned child went viral. Aylan Kurdi who, along with his mother and brother, drowned after attempting to reach Europe to escape persecution is one of almost 60 million people displaced by conflict, persecution and war. Among that crowd, this image of Aylan has shaken many in Australia, being shown in candle-light vigils, being mentioned in Parliament, and contributing to an upsurge in a compassion and generosity in our public discourse about refugees and about aid that we were beginning to think lost. We believe this tragic image and the fate of one small child can provide a turning point to discuss how we should act as fellow humans, why we should act as Christians and what we should do as global citizens. Responding with more compassion and practical support for refugees and asylum-seekers is clearly part of what must happen. We should also increase humanitarian and other forms of aid which help those who have been displaced, and can work to reduce the pressures of conflict and violence. Last century, the… read more

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  • The comfortable nation that couldn't...

    Posted by Ben

    13 May, 2015

    The Little Engine That Could is a wonderful story of a small, and struggling, train engine (enchantingly alive as things so often are in children's stories) pushing the limits of its capacity and endurance to succeed despite its own small size and the odds stacked against it. This wonderful story of homeless and unemployed people in Victoria pooling together what little they have to help those who are suffering or seeking to help in response to Nepal's recent earthquakes reminds me of that little engine that could. Little to their names, the odds stacked against them in so many ways, and yet they found a way to reach for resources they barely have for themselves in order to help others. In stark contrast, Australia – one of the world's wealthiest nations with a $1.6 trillion dollar (and growing!) economy and the sixth lowest level of debt in the developed world – last night decided that we are the comfortable nation that couldn't . Or, rather, the comfortable nation that wouldn't . While Government expenditure continues to… 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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