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.

  • Senior church leaders meet Federal politicians - a lot of love in the room!

    Posted by John

    24 June, 2011

    5.45 am yesterday I pulled myself out of bed and ventured out into a dark and bleak Canberra morning. For the first time, Micah Challenge were pulling together a significant group of denominational leaders in Parliament House for a day of lobby meetings with Federal Politicians. Love wasn't a word that was on my mind. Any who have tried will know that bringing churches together to do things is not always easy - let alone adding Federal politicians into the mix. But God was gracious. A group including senior representatives of the Anglican, Baptist, Vineyard, Australian Christian Churches, Salvation Army, Churches of Christ and Uniting churches had 32 meetings with MPs and Senators in one day. There was an open door for our collective voice to be heard. The day started with a Parliamentary breakfast where we presented the creative petitions that many of you sent to Kevin Rudd as part of our Mothers Day midwife crisis campaign. Mr Rudd accepted and acknowledged them. He spoke well - as he usually does on this issue - indicating that health indeed should be a… read more

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  • A moment to celebrate - child health

    Posted by Simon

    16 June, 2011

    Every now and then something happens that captures - in a single moment - why those of us involved with Micah Challenge do what we do. Last Sunday we had one of those moments. During his speech at the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI) pledging conference in London on Sunday, Kevin Rudd said: "I don't know how we could spend our aid dollars better than in saving the lives of children" The GAVI Alliance is a unique global health partnership that aims to save children's lives and protect people's health by increasing access to immunisation in developing countries. Since its inception in 2000, GAVI's cost-effective programs have prevented an estimated 5.4 million deaths and immunised a total of 257 million children from diseases. Over the weekend, while most of us were enjoying a holiday in honour of the Queen, GAVI's pledging conference was being held in London, hosted by British Prime Minister David Cameron. Donor countries (such as Australia) were invited to pledge money to the organisation for the next three years. Overall, the GAVI… read more

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  • Child and Maternal Health funding - it's kind of a big deal...

    Posted by Simon

    15 April, 2011

    There's big money in aid. Still not as much as there needs to be, when more than 1 billion people are still living in poverty and we spend more than six times the amount of money on military expenditure than poverty reduction. But compared to individual donors like you and me, it's big money all the same. Australia's foreign aid budget has doubled since 2005 and will double again over the next five years to hit an estimated $8-9 billion by 2015 (assuming the Australian Government holds to its promise of increasing foreign aid to 0.5 per cent of Gross National Income by 2015). Poverty is a big problem, so there needs to be big money in aid-but with Australia's total foreign aid budget increasing, what programs should this new funding focus on? In November, the Australian Government initiated an independent review of our nation's aid program to answer that exact question. The aid review gave individuals and organisations the chance to put forward their views. So in that spirit, here's my two cents: child and maternal health programs should top AusAID's priority… read more

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  • AusAid corruption comfortingly miniscule

    Posted by Gershon

    24 March, 2011

    I awoke this morning to a few articles from the News Limited group of newspapers lambasting foreign aid. The articles decried the ‘systematic criminal behaviour', ‘widespread corruption' and ‘exorbitant wastage' of the Australian Government aid program. After a quick skim of the headlines, I was sure that our aid program was now being run by the likes of Tony Soprano and his gangland cronies , and this hard hitting expose was about to burst it all open. The giant multi-media banner pasted across the page, titled “Top Secret, Operation Fraud" just about had me convinced. A quick fact check however made me realise that the News Limited headlines may have in fact been a little (or enormously) overstated. I'm not saying that corruption in developing countries isn't a significant problem, it is. And I'm not for a moment trying to suggest that all AusAID's programs are corruption free, they're not. What I am saying is that we need to keep these headlines in perspective. Getting Some Perspective The total… read more

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