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.

  • Public aid perceptions and Lowy's latest poll

    Posted by Steve

    30 June, 2011

    A quick scan of today's headlines reveals that European economies are struggling while the Australian dollar remains strong, Google is taking on Facebook, the Pope's on Twitter, and McCain's 500g Family Cheese and Bacon pizza has been recalled from supermarket shelves. But that doesn't really give us an accurate picture of what is going on around the world. Does it? Sometimes it's hard to know what is really going on in the world, and this is certainly true for Australia's aid budget as much as anything else. Do Australian's really know how much money is being spent on overseas aid, or is this story also being lost in the newsreel? A recent poll by the Lowy Institute reported that on average, Australian's think we spend about 16% of our budget on overseas aid. In reality, just 1.3% of the 2011-12 budget will be spent on aid (or just 0.35% of our Gross National Income). This demonstrates a drastic overestimation by those polled of how much Australia is contributing to the fight against poverty and efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by… 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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  • Drinking bottled water is not a sin, right?

    Posted by Elissa

    7 June, 2011

    This morning, I turned on the tap and cleaned my teeth. So what, right? Even here in Australia, the land of droughts and flooding rains, where we know better than most how important water really is, we still take it for granted that when we turn on the tap, clean and drinkable water will pour out. Now, I know that's not the case for people in many parts of the world. There are more than one billion people on Planet Earth who do not have clean and drinkable water on call in their kitchens and bathrooms like I do. But just like I never really think about the water I clean my teeth with every day, I don't really think about the water situation that a great chunk of the world population deals with every day. Am I alone? I don't think so. Is it ok? That is quite another question. Take a swig of this What really got me thinking about it was an interview I heard on my local radio station a couple of months ago with the Go Tap movement. "Seriously?" I thought. But then some of the stats caught my attention. • Each year, Australians spend more than half a billion… read more

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  • Christians and climate change - What would MLK do?

    Posted by Jarrod

    2 June, 2011

    The legacy of Martin Luther King Jr and the reality of climate change are both victims of western culture's remarkable capacity to accommodate and neutralise that which is most critical of it. Early in the civil rights movement, Bayard Rustin said to King, "I have a feeling that the Lord had laid his hand upon you. And that is a dangerous, dangerous thing." Similarly, the FBI once described Martin King as the "most dangerous man in America" - and yet, when we hear about this man, we are often presented with a figure that seems more like a cheerleader for the status quo rather than a prophetic challenge to it. Somehow, it seems we have made this dangerous figure very safe. For instance, in a speech at the Pentagon commemorating King's legacy, the Defense Department's general counsel Jeh C. Johnson remarked, "I believe that if Dr King were alive today, he would recognize that we live in a complicated world, and that our nation's military should not and cannot lay down its arms and leave the American people vulnerable to terrorist attack." But to claim that Dr… read more

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