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.

  • Aid budget - the silence of the Opposition

    Posted by Ben

    16 May, 2012

    We know where the Government stands on its aid budget – basically a little bit less and a little bit late. But it's not so clear where the Opposition stands. The Opposition joined with the Government in the Senate last week to vote against a Greens motion to reinstate the commitment to increase aid to 0.5% of Gross National Income by 2015. Tony Abbott offered a resounding silence on whether he would stand behind his own words in defence of this commitment during his budget reply speech. Some responses are starting to emerge, however. You can find the Coalition's position (or current lack of a settled position) set out by Senator Birmingham here. In Senator Birmingham's opinion piece, and in communication to Micah Challenge supporters from Opposition MPs, the Coalition seem to be suggesting three things. First, the Coalition asserts that the Government has made it impossible for anyone to achieve 0.5% by 2015 because "we must ensure our aid is efficient and effective." We completely agree with the premise – our aid must be… read more

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  • A Hollywood blockbuster with a twist...

    Posted by Lucy

    24 April, 2012

    I had a great idea for a movie. A political drama. George Clooney or Matt Damon as male lead, and there’s a young, feisty, female journalist who gets caught up in it all. The opening scene spans a meeting room high up in skyscraper land, with a marble round table, jugs of iced water and leaders of a big global development bank. “Gentlemen, you should be proud,” says the silver fox, “This policy forges the path to education for the poorest of the poor.” Clapping and shaking hands all around. Cut to the brilliant green and brown of a remote village high up in Indonesia’s mountains. Children, gorgeous and laughing, walk kilometres of terrain to a tiny, one-teacher school. The camera pans back to the village, where a little girl stares wistfully after them. The shot widens to show that she has clubfoot; her feet twisted inwards. As opening credits scroll on, we know there is no way she could walk to school… I haven’t worked out the complete script yet, but there are plenty of true stories to draw from. One billion… read more

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  • I Love Needles

    Posted by Simon

    30 March, 2012

    It’s not often that you get to hear from a person in TIME Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential People. Sure, we hear speeches from Barack Obama on TV all the time and Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook is used daily by the majority of people in the developed world. But last week, 200 plus people and myself attended a Child Survival Forum hosted by RESULTS International, primarily to hear Dr Seth Berkley speak, a 2009 member of TIME’s top 100 club. Who, you might say? A guy who, quite simply, loves needles… Dr Berkley is the CEO of the GAVI Alliance, a multilateral organisation that has given life-saving vaccinations to over 319 million children in the past ten years, saving an estimated 5.5 million children’s lives. Impressed now? Globally, the GAVI Alliance ranks as one of the most effective and cost-efficient multilateral organisations working to eradicate poverty. The GAVI Alliance is a unique public-private partnership that focuses solely on immunising children in developing countries against deadly diseases such as pneumonia,… read more

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  • On the to-do list and bookshelf of our new Foreign Minister

    Posted by Ben

    28 March, 2012

    It no longer really counts as news that Australia's Foreign Minister is former NSW Premier, Senator Bob Carr. But it's worth reflecting for a moment on what we are hoping and praying for from our new Foreign Minister. Aid is only one part of the Foreign Minister's portfolio, but it's a significant and growing part of the Federal budget, and it is probably the policy area in which the Australian Government has the most direct contribution to make in the global effort to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and end extreme poverty. The Australian aid program has been expanding in recent years and, by and large, has been becoming more transparent and increasingly focused on measuring its effectiveness. Senator Carr, in a recent radio interview, said that our aid program is "something that we can all be proud of". I couldn't agree more. On that basis, I think that our new Foreign Minister should build on the bipartisan commitment to lift aid spending to 0.5% of Gross National Income by 2015, and pursue lifting aid to… read more

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