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.

  • Harsh aid cuts and an unhappy new year

    Posted by Ben

    20 January, 2014

    On Saturday, the Government confirmed that it is cutting $625 million from the 2013-14 aid program, making the 2013-14 aid budget $107 million smaller than in 2012-13 – marking the first time aid has gone backwards since the year 2000. It also finally (after almost 5 months in office) confirmed which countries, regions and programs will be affected. In short: all of them. All regions of the world and all program areas (governance, infrastructure and rural development, disability, education, health, water, sanitation and hygiene, environmental sustainability) will be cut. Some deeply. Aid to Sub-Saharan Africa, where the world's poorest people are to be found, is being cut by almost half from a budgeted level of $224.9 million to just $133 million (vastly less than the $211.2 million that was invested there in 2012-13). Our contribution towards dealing with humanitarian and other emergencies as well as global refugee support has been cut by $75 million (from $339.6 million in the May budget to just $264.2 million). Cross regional and global… read more

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  • Why I'm buying Joe Hockey a goat this Christmas

    Posted by John

    18 December, 2013

    For the last 3 years my wife and I have received goats for Christmas. The practise of buying a gift on behalf of a friend for someone in need elsewhere has become a common part of Christmas for many of us. And it’s a great idea. It makes a difference in the lives of poor people and communities while at the same time keeping some of the potential excess of Christmas in check. I confess that I mostly stay out of the gift buying in our house. I hope that most of the ‘Aussie male’ stereotypes don’t apply to me, but on this one I am guilty. But this year is different. This year I’ll be buying a goat....and giving it to my MP, Joe Hockey. Why would I buy Joe Hockey a goat this Christmas? A little bit of back story..... Many of you will know that two days before the election, my Federal MP Mr Hockey, at the time the would-be Treasurer, stood in front of the cameras and advised the Australian people that the Coalition, if elected, would be cutting $4.5 billion from the aid budget over the next 4 years, thereby breaking a promise that the… read more

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  • Mourning with those who mourn: A response to Typhoon Haiyan

    Posted by John

    11 November, 2013

    Reports this morning are estimating that as many as 10,000 people have been killed in the Philippines as a result of the devastation caused by Super Typhoon Haiyan in recent days. One of our nearest neighbours, the Philippines, is home to approximately 100 million people, with some 45% of them living on less than $2/day. The widespread poverty, particularly in the rural regions, exacerbates the impact of the storms that occur in this nation that is prone to natural disasters. Would you join us in prayer today for the people of the Philippines? As we prayed this morning, in our office, there were few words that we could offer. We prayed for God’s mercy to those who are suffering. We prayed for relief efforts, for the government and for NGOs. The Philippines are an important friend for Australia. Many Filipinos call Australia home and will have families who are directly impacted by this crisis. The Philippines are fellow members of ASEAN and the South East Asian Community. Our collective futures and our prosperity in this ‘Asian… read more

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  • Who pays when aid is cut?

    Posted by Ben

    10 October, 2013

    The new Government faces some tough choices on aid. The first choice is which of the Prime Minister’s statements to be true to. Will they be true to his claim that the Government will not cut aid, but merely “reduce the rate of increase”? This would mean maintaining aid at $5.6 billion for 2013-14 and ensuring that all current aid programs are fully funded. Or will they proceed with $4.5 billion of cuts over four years, including a $656 million cut this year from money already budgeted or committed (as outlined in the Coalition’s final pre-election costings document)? This would cut Australia’s overseas aid budget by 11% this year (the largest ever cut to aid) and be the first cut in aid since Prime Minister John Howard signed on to the Millennium Declaration and committed Australia to “spare no effort to free our fellow men, women and children from the abject and dehumanising conditions of extreme poverty.” Obviously the first option is the only reasonable course of action for a Prime Minister who wants to be seen… read more

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