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.

  • The power of solidarity

    Posted by Christine

    8 April, 2014

    One of the most significant things that we’ve learnt over the last twenty years in the fight to end extreme poverty is the importance of working together. The Millennium Development Goals, for all their imperfections and shortcomings, have given us a shared set of global goals, the likes of which we have never before experienced. They have given us purpose, something to stand for as we simultaneously stand against the injustice of poverty. This has caused me to reflect on the nature of solidarity. When you see a group of citizens protesting, marching in a group, holding signs and chanting slogans – they could be seen as an image of solidarity. Solidarity can be as limited as those who choose a particular issue or line of thinking. It’s outcome could create more divisiveness amongst the bystanders who watch a protest if they cannot relate to the cause. My own spiritual tradition is very comfortable in a march while wearing uniforms and keeping in step to band music. The Salvation Army in that moment could be described as a church whose image is… read more

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  • An opportunity to build on progress

    Posted by Steve

    4 April, 2014

    In February 2003 a dozen or so people from across the world came together in Seattle. Our purpose was to give practical shape to an emerging global campaign. For several months the leadership of two global networks, the Micah Network and the World Evangelical Alliance, had been giving serious prayer and consideration to what on the surface seemed to many a highly improbable dream. The background to our gathering was a truly remarkable pledge made by the world’s political leaders a couple of years earlier – a millennium promise to halve world poverty by 2015. Was there something we could or should do to support those leaders to make good their pledge? How could we help them achieve their so-called Millennium Development Goals? How might we and the networks we represented be able to encourage them to keep their eyes on the goals? Or call them to account if they appeared to be shirking? Could we create an on-going campaign that would serve both as a catalyst for alerting millions of Christians around the world to God’s passion for justice and… read more

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  • Australian aid does a lot of good

    Posted by Ben

    27 February, 2014

    AusAID's 2012–13 annual report (and its last stand-alone annual report since it was absorbed into the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade) was released late last week and there was lots to be happy about. Through our overseas aid program in 2012–13, we helped to: Vaccinate more than 2.7 million children against deadly diseases Provide safe water for an additional 2.2 million people Provide basic sanitation and increased knowledge of hygiene practices to around 1.9 million people Enrol an additional 1 million children in school Train 100,000 teachers and school officials Ensure more than 7 million poor women and men had access to social transfers (cash or food) Train 200,000 public servants, as well as more than 22,000 police and other law and order officials Support 27 countries to improve public financial management Provide 11.8 million people with life-saving assistance during conflict or crisis situations I would say that for less than 1.4% of the federal budget, and just 35 cents in every $100 of our nation's income, that… read more

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  • Harsh aid cuts and an unhappy new year

    Posted by Ben

    20 January, 2014

    On Saturday, the Government confirmed that it is cutting $625 million from the 2013-14 aid program, making the 2013-14 aid budget $107 million smaller than in 2012-13 – marking the first time aid has gone backwards since the year 2000. It also finally (after almost 5 months in office) confirmed which countries, regions and programs will be affected. In short: all of them. All regions of the world and all program areas (governance, infrastructure and rural development, disability, education, health, water, sanitation and hygiene, environmental sustainability) will be cut. Some deeply. Aid to Sub-Saharan Africa, where the world's poorest people are to be found, is being cut by almost half from a budgeted level of $224.9 million to just $133 million (vastly less than the $211.2 million that was invested there in 2012-13). Our contribution towards dealing with humanitarian and other emergencies as well as global refugee support has been cut by $75 million (from $339.6 million in the May budget to just $264.2 million). Cross regional and global… read more

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