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.

  • Anti-Poverty Week 2014

    Posted by Salome

    15 October, 2014

    This week is International Anti-Poverty Week, and it is traditionally a time for community groups, churches, non-for profits and advocacy groups to recommit their efforts to help the poor. This week is a time for reflection on the incredible achievements of the last year, in fighting against poverty, as well as a time of reflection on the challenges we continue to face and how best to overcome them. As Christians, we use anti-poverty week as a time of thanksgiving for how God has worked through us to bring His kingdom values of caring for our global neighbours to fruition, and how he continues to strengthen us in our efforts to bring the world to holistic wholeness. We also use it as a time to recongise that there is still work to be done, and to refresh ourselves in God’s mandate to take care of the least among us. So for Anti-Poverty Week 2014, let’s take some time to look at one achievement for each of the MDG’s, and give thanks to the Lord for all the lives that have been saved through our global effort. Let us also pray for the fruit of… 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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  • 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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