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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  • Senior church leaders meet Federal politicians - a lot of love in the room!

    Posted by John

    24 June, 2011

    5.45 am yesterday I pulled myself out of bed and ventured out into a dark and bleak Canberra morning. For the first time, Micah Challenge were pulling together a significant group of denominational leaders in Parliament House for a day of lobby meetings with Federal Politicians. Love wasn't a word that was on my mind. Any who have tried will know that bringing churches together to do things is not always easy - let alone adding Federal politicians into the mix. But God was gracious. A group including senior representatives of the Anglican, Baptist, Vineyard, Australian Christian Churches, Salvation Army, Churches of Christ and Uniting churches had 32 meetings with MPs and Senators in one day. There was an open door for our collective voice to be heard. The day started with a Parliamentary breakfast where we presented the creative petitions that many of you sent to Kevin Rudd as part of our Mothers Day midwife crisis campaign. Mr Rudd accepted and acknowledged them. He spoke well - as he usually does on this issue - indicating that health indeed should be a… 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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  • Achieving MDG7 saves lives!

    Posted by Tabitha

    30 May, 2011

    We live in a country where we take it for granted that we have clean drinking water in our taps, toilets that work and food on our tables - life's most simple necessities, right? But for people in poor countries, who rely heavily on their local environment and ecosystems, environmental instability means access to these basic needs is not guaranteed. This Sunday is 'World Environment Day' - a good chance to reflect on Millennium Development Goal 7, which seeks to ensure environmental sustainability for the world's poor, and aims to assist the poor to cope with environmental degradation and a changing climate. MDG7 also includes targets to help improve water and sanitation in poor communities. Here at Micah Challenge, we believe that EVERY PERSON should be able to enjoy God's provision through creation. The reality of our 'global village' is that we really do 'Share the Earth' with our brothers and sisters around the world. The decisions we Aussies make about how we use the earth can have a positive or negative impact on the world's poorest people. For me… read more

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