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.

  • MDG Report 2011 - How should Christians respond?

    Posted by Amanda

    19 July, 2011

    The idea of 'promise' is important to Christians; indeed it is important to all of us humans, made in God's image. Thanks to the work of Micah Challenge supporters around the world, the Millennium Development Goal promises made in 2000 are more than ever in the heart of the church We cannot ignore them now or decide they are not worthy of effort. As we near that completion date of 2015, we should be encouraged to act with even more persistence. The current hunger disaster on our TV screens in East Africa might seem to indicate that nothing ever changes, but there is much good news: The 2011 UN MDG Report released on 7 July by Ban ki-Moon, gives reason for hope. MDG2 on primary education and MDG3 on gender equality are within reach for many nations, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Child deaths are down to 8.1 million per year - 3.3 million fewer than 20 years ago - or 12,000 fewer deaths each day. Christian action and advocacy for children has helped to produce these heartening changes! Malaria deaths are down 20% this century. HIV/AIDS infections are… read more

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  • 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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  • Aid consultants earning more than the Prime Minister!

    Posted by John

    4 July, 2011

    Over the weekend, the newspapers once again highlighted the issue of technical consultants being paid enormous amounts of money to contribute their expertise to Australian funded aid programs. The figures are striking, and should prompt us to ask serious questions. Is this the most effective way that we can be spending our aid dollars? The frustrating thing in these kinds of media reports is that there is nothing constructive about the commentary. These wages seem ridiculous to me and it is a problem that the government needs to continue to address, but once again, our attention is directed away from the actual problem at hand - poverty! That's the problem we need to fix. It angers me that while we talk about consultant salaries, we forget to talk about any of the good news stories. We forget to talk about finding real solutions. We forget to be constructive. The media articles refer to the recently completed Independent Aid Review. Hopefully that review, soon to be released by the government, will prompt us to discuss both the quantity and the quality of… read more

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