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.

  • Opinion is divided - does Australia need a carbon tax, or don't we?

    Posted by Phil

    13 July, 2011

    I, for one, think we do. I'm a long time supporter of Micah Challenge and I'm just finishing off a PhD that looks at the impacts of human caused climate change on people in the developing world. Climate change is already impacting poor communities around the globe. For example, in Nepal the weather is becoming increasingly unpredictable, with increasing extremes like floods and droughts. It is the poor who are being hit first and hit the hardest. You may or may not know that as part of their Share the Earth: MDG7 campaign this year, Micah Challenge has been asking the government to take a leadership position in international efforts to address climate change. I've sat at tables where Micah Challenge coalition partners have discussed and debated whether to engage supporters in the climate change debate. Micah Challenge is very wary of the potential for the debate to distract people from their purpose of halving poverty and achieving the MDGs. The Micah Challenge coalition has chosen to engage through necessity - because climate change represents a serious… read more

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  • 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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  • Voices for Justice: Go!

    Posted by Micah

    28 June, 2011

    Voices for Justice participant, Adam, reflects on his time in Canberra last year In order to attend Voice for Justice last year I had to get two days off work (and as I as I was new at a new job at the time, it was all the leave I had); pay a fair amount of money for plane tickets, food, and conference registration; and visit a distant city to do something I have never done before without a single person I knew in sight. I do not regret it. So what did I learn? I have learnt that politicians are people, and not just the nameless, faceless cogs of government I thought they were. It is true - some MPs will not make waves, preferring to do what is politically convenient; yet others went far beyond the call of duty, organising our security passes and encouraging other MPs to meet us. I know now that lobbying does make a difference. To make big change I think you need public support and political support. Voices for Justice has secured a lot of political support. Rudd and Abbott described us as the nagging prophets asking for justice. I would say the description… 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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