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.

  • Global goals: a new era

    Posted by Ben

    30 September, 2015

    The nations of the world have unanimously adopted the Global Goals for Sustainable Development. This historic commitment creates a guide and framework to meet global challenges of poverty, inequality, violence and environmental sustainability through to the year 2030. With seventeen goals and 169 targets the global goals are, as you’d imagine, more complex than the eight Millennium Development Goals they replace. Some of them, too, are more aspirational than measurable – visions of a better world more than a specific target to be achieved. This is both the strength and weakness of the Sustainable Development Goals. The Millennium Development Goals catalysed renewed investment in aid spending and helped the world focus on some of the worst aspects of extreme poverty – the early and preventable deaths of children, the deaths of women in pregnancy and childbirth, the scourges of hunger and poor education, for example. The new global goals seek to address bigger issues around human development. They are a moral call and a vision for a world… read more

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  • The comfortable nation that couldn't...

    Posted by Ben

    13 May, 2015

    The Little Engine That Could is a wonderful story of a small, and struggling, train engine (enchantingly alive as things so often are in children's stories) pushing the limits of its capacity and endurance to succeed despite its own small size and the odds stacked against it. This wonderful story of homeless and unemployed people in Victoria pooling together what little they have to help those who are suffering or seeking to help in response to Nepal's recent earthquakes reminds me of that little engine that could. Little to their names, the odds stacked against them in so many ways, and yet they found a way to reach for resources they barely have for themselves in order to help others. In stark contrast, Australia – one of the world's wealthiest nations with a $1.6 trillion dollar (and growing!) economy and the sixth lowest level of debt in the developed world – last night decided that we are the comfortable nation that couldn't . Or, rather, the comfortable nation that wouldn't . While Government expenditure continues to… read more

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  • The biggest aid cut in Australia's history

    Posted by Ben

    16 December, 2014

    With due deference to the terror and tragedy of unfolding events in Sydney's Martin Place yesterday, the Government delayed by a few hours the release of its mid-year budget update. However, when the Treasurer finally announced his plans, it was terrible news for Australia's aid program. On top of the $7.6 billion already ripped out of Australian aid since coming to office, the Government is planning to cut a further $3.7 billion from aid over the next four years. Despite the fact that aid represents just over 1% of the Federal Government's budget, cuts to aid represent more than a quarter of all the budget cuts this Government has made in the 15 months since coming to office. These cuts will take Australian aid to their lowest recorded levels and include the largest single-year cut to aid in Australian history – $1 billion or 20% taken out of the budget from this year to next. At a time when Australia's economy is growing, when our debt is 6th lowest among all developed countries, these cuts will plunge our contribution to global… read more

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  • How do we rate the G20 Summit?

    Posted by Ben

    18 November, 2014

    The barricades have come down. The thunderous whomp of helicopters no longer echoes overhead. The motorcades of world leaders no longer crowd Brisbane’s streets and their planes have left the tarmac at Brisbane airport. Protestors and demonstrators, having raised their voices peacefully and often creatively, have returned home. The leaders' communiqué – all three tightly-crafted pages of it – has been released, outlining the work and results of this gathering of some of the world’s most powerful national leaders. When Micah Challenge began campaigning on tax and transparency, we knew that the Brisbane G20 in 2014 would be a key moment in shaping a global tax system that genuinely worked for the poor and cracked down on multinational tax dodging that robs poor countries of the revenue that they need to reduce poverty. On that score, how do we rate the summit? First, we are encouraged that G20 leaders acknowledge the nature and scale of the problem of tax dodging and the way it impacts low-income countries. Prime Minister… read more

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