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.

  • Aid Promise Sacrificed to Budget Surplus

    Posted by Ben

    9 May, 2012

    So, let's get the headline out of the way. The Government broke its promise. It will not increase aid to 0.5% of Gross National Income by 2015. Instead, it has decided to defer that commitment by one year. The Government will not increase aid to 0.38% of Gross National Income in the coming year as previously indicated. Instead, a much smaller increase of around $300 million will see aid remain static at 0.35% GNI. In order to save $2.9 billion over four years, the Government has chosen to break a promise it made to the Australian public and to the world's poor. Our aid will continue to do good (and more on this below), but we will be saving fewer lives, helping fewer children receive basic education, helping fewer communities recover from disaster, than we had committed to. The child who can't attend school today will just have to wait another year. The community that is afflicted by hunger today will just have to wait. The woman who goes through the trials of pregnancy and childbirth without skilled assistance today, well – you know… read more

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  • The Federal Budget - what's in it for the poor?

    Posted by Tim

    7 May, 2012

    As Australia focuses on the Federal Budget and how our hip pockets will be affected, Christians are called to view it in another way. Jim Wallis of the Sojourners community in the US has often referred to federal budgets as moral documents. He recently pointed out that budgets reveal our nation’s priorities – who is important and who is not, and what is important and what is not. One very important priority for our nation is that of our overseas aid and development expenditure. As I have said elsewhere recently, most Australians don’t realise how little our Government gives in this area. Our current level of overseas aid sits at just 35 cents per every $100 of GNI. As Christians we are called to view the Federal Budget in terms of how God wants us to use our nation’s finances. It is about caring for the ‘least of these’ as described by Jesus in Matthew 25. This parable near the end of Matthew’s Gospel is a call to the nations; it seems to be talking about how the nations have treated the least of these. It is a call… read more

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  • Joining together for and with the world's poor

    Posted by Paul

    30 April, 2012

    For years now Micah Challenge has been advocating for and with the global poor - to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and address some of the worst aspects of global poverty by 2015. One of the reasons I feel honoured to be chair of Micah Challenge Australia is the amazing progress we have seen. Just twenty years ago, more than twelve million children died every year from preventable causes. Last year, that number was fewer than eight million. An additional 40 million children each year have been able to receive a basic education since 2000. Of course, behind every statistic like this, there are countless local and personal stories of transformation and hope. Australian aid has played its part. Former Prime Minister Howard began the process, promising to double the aid budget, and Labor have built on that by promising to increase aid to 0.5% of Gross National Income. This is now a promise that both the ALP and the Liberal-National Coalition have made. I have been impressed, and sometimes amazed, at how responsive politicians have been to Micah… read more

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  • A Hollywood blockbuster with a twist...

    Posted by Lucy

    24 April, 2012

    I had a great idea for a movie. A political drama. George Clooney or Matt Damon as male lead, and there’s a young, feisty, female journalist who gets caught up in it all. The opening scene spans a meeting room high up in skyscraper land, with a marble round table, jugs of iced water and leaders of a big global development bank. “Gentlemen, you should be proud,” says the silver fox, “This policy forges the path to education for the poorest of the poor.” Clapping and shaking hands all around. Cut to the brilliant green and brown of a remote village high up in Indonesia’s mountains. Children, gorgeous and laughing, walk kilometres of terrain to a tiny, one-teacher school. The camera pans back to the village, where a little girl stares wistfully after them. The shot widens to show that she has clubfoot; her feet twisted inwards. As opening credits scroll on, we know there is no way she could walk to school… I haven’t worked out the complete script yet, but there are plenty of true stories to draw from. One billion… read more

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