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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  • We said / They said - Micah Challenge response to the aid review

    Posted by John

    6 July, 2011

    Is the government's response to the aid review, released today, good news for the world's poor? We think so! Our submission to the aid review had nine recommendations. Here's a little game of We Said/They Said through the lens of those nine recommendations. 1. We said: Make poverty-reduction the central and overarching purpose of the Australian aid program. They said: 'The fundamental purpose of Australian aid is to help people overcome poverty.' This, in turn ‘serves Australia's national interests by promoting stability and prosperity both in our region and beyond.' 2. We said: On aid quantity, reach at least 0.5% GNI by 2015/16, and provide the framework for a sustainable growth path to 0.7%, if not by 2015/16 then as quickly as possible. They said: The government's commitment to reach 0.5 percent of GNI by 2015-16 will, subject to future levels of economic growth, see the aid budget almost double again, to around $8 billion. Mr Rudd suggested we can do more: ‘In 2007, both Australia's… read more

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  • Cheap vaccines make good business sense

    Posted by Amanda

    9 June, 2011

    Global pharmaceutical companies don't often get a great press. They are usually known for their huge profits and their desire to direct research dollars into solving potentially profitable western medical issues, like hair and weight loss. But this week, Andrew Witty, the head of the third largest pharmaceutical company in the world, Glaxo Smith Kline, gave us a different picture. He announced that "GSK will cut 95 percent off the price of a diarrhoea vaccine for the world's poorest nations, potentially saving hundreds of thousands of lives." Witty said the rotavirus vaccine price cut was an effort to be "in step with society" and he encouraged other drug companies to do the same. Under the new pricing arrangement, the poorest nations will be able to buy a dose of GSK's vaccine for US$2.50, just five percent of the $50 western price. The company has guaranteed sales of its drug at cost price under the deal. It aims to use profits generated in wealthier countries to subsidise the provision of drugs to poorer countries at a price that will just cover the cost of… 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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