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.

  • 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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  • Kevin Rudd says thanks!

    Posted by Tabitha

    13 May, 2011

    "The wider movement we call Micah Challenge and Make Poverty History has brought aid from the outskirts of the political agenda to centre stage," said Kevin Rudd at this morning's thank you breakfast. He also credited the movement for mobilising wide public support of the Millennium Development Goals and for "etching the issue deeply into the souls of Australians". Despite the incredible short notice, more than a hundred passionate aid braved Sydney's record cold snap to turn out this morning for the thank you breaky. The Minister wanted to meet with campaigners to congratulate us on our work in helping secure aid in the Federal Budget. The Government moved to 'quarantine' aid from cuts in this year's 'tough budget', announced on Tuesday night. In thanking campaigners, Mr. Rudd also urged those present to keep up the work of "hassling politicians" on both sides of politics. "The work you've done - big tick. The work you'll do in the future - even more important" he said. "Keep it up!" The Opposition also came out in support of the MDGs yesterday,… read more

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  • A date with Rudd, AusAid and passionate advocates

    Posted by Simon

    11 May, 2011

    Yesterday, on a cool winter's evening at AusAid headquarters in Canberra, Gershon, Eliza and I had the good fortune of attending the foreign aid budget briefing. As we walked into a large room, full of people; there was a feeling of anticipation. How would Swan's ‘tough' budget affect the world's poorest and most vulnerable people? The foreign aid briefing began almost right on time with The Hon Kevin Rudd providing the opening statement. With his usual air of confidence, Mr. Rudd explained that the Australian Government was still completely committed to raising Australia's foreign aid program to 0.5 per cent of Gross National Income (GNI) by 2015-16. Mr Rudd went on to say that the foreign aid program had been effectively ‘quarantined' to ensure it reached this target. In a challenging and uncertain economic climate, we applaud the Federal Government's actions, which highlight the effective advocacy over a number of years by groups including Micah Challenge. However, this 0.5 per cent commitment is still well short of the… read more

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