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.

  • Will aid be a priority at the next election?

    Posted by Jennifer

    2 April, 2013

    If you were to ask 20 average Australians to give you a list of their top 5 priorities when it comes to making a decision to vote, how often would foreign aid gain a mention? Having done this very experiment informally myself over recent weeks, I have quickly discovered that education, child care, jobs, immigration policy and other domestic priorities very quickly fill up this list for most people. Climate change policy may feature somewhere around number 4 or 5 for those who have an environmental inclination, but in very few cases will foreign affairs get a mention, let alone foreign aid. It is true that foreign aid currently accounts for only 1.5% of Government expenditure, so why should it be a priority? I would argue that in terms of its capacity to save lives and increase the quality of life for hundreds of thousands of people around the world, this money is some of the most important of all Government expenditure. With a Federal election scheduled for September 14th, Micah Challenge is committed to placing foreign aid high on the agenda of policy… read more

    Comment on this post

  • Urgent AND Important!

    Posted by John

    18 February, 2013

    I wouldn’t blame you if you were tired of people like me telling you that I need your help or support RIGHT NOW! Urgency can be tiring. Urgency is stressful. Urgency is unsustainable. That’s why the experts always warn us not to let the ‘urgent’ crowd out the ‘important’. The reality is that poverty in our world never slips off the urgent list. At every moment of every day someone in our world faces a life or death situation that is caused by poverty. However, for us who are removed from those situations, keeping it on our urgent list is probably unrealistic. That’s why our focus at Micah Challenge is to create lifelong advocates who will stand against the injustice of poverty as a matter of course – people for whom fighting poverty becomes part of who you are, rather than just something you do for a time. In other words, we are trying to plant it firmly on your ‘important’ list rather than your ‘urgent’ list, so that it doesn’t get pushed down your priority list. Having said that,… read more

    Comment on this post

  • Why we disagree with the Government

    Posted by Ben

    21 December, 2012

    So many Micah Challenge supporters are telling the Government, "Don't Divert Aid", that they are already receiving standardised email replies from some politicians or being argued with by the staff who answer the phones in the politician's office. I think that's a sign that the campaign is getting through. So, following on from my previous post, I wanted to put in one place our reasons for disagreeing with the Government's plan to divert $375 million of the aid budget towards domestic refugee costs. Sorry that this post is a little long and slightly policy wonkish. For those who want the summary version, we oppose the Government's plan and disagree with its reasons because the planned diversion of aid: 1. is a massive, sudden and poorly-considered shift in the aid program's priorities. 2. represents a cut to poverty reduction programs overseas to meet a domestic expense. 3. makes our aid program less predictable, and thus less effective. 4. is unnecessary – Australia has the resources and responsibility both to care for… read more

    Comment on this post

  • Overseas aid and refugees in Australia

    Posted by Ben

    19 December, 2012

    The leaked report that the Government is planning to divert $375 million from the aid budget to help meet the rising costs of support for asylum-seekers and refugees at home has caused quite a stir. The Foreign Minister, Bob Carr, has offered some justification and precedent for the decision, which is largely driven by the political imperative to bring the budget back into surplus. But the fact is that this represents a massive reallocation of Australia's aid budget away from poverty reducing programs overseas to meet domestic refugee support costs. The way the decision has been taken also raises disturbing questions about the integrity of the aid program. The Foreign Minister says this isn't a cut to foreign aid, and in a strict sense he is right. Under Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) rules (pdf), governments are allowed to report the first 12 months of in-country support costs for refugees as Official Development Assistance – the bureaucratese for "aid". The Foreign Minister even points to three donor… read more

    Comment on this post

Page 10 of 24
6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14