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.

  • It's time we talk about Syria

    Posted by Phil

    17 March, 2014

    If there is one thing you read about this week it should be the crisis in and around Syria. Forget what you think you know. It’s time you heard the untold story. This is a story about the peaceful majority in Syria, not the violent minority. This is a story about Syrian people who have never touched a gun or weapon of any type. This is a story about mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and grandparents. Syria has become the most significant humanitarian crisis of our generation. There are almost ten million Syrians who have been displaced, including over two million refugees who have fled the country. In the modern era there has never been a time when over half a country has been forced from their homes. Just imagine, the entire population of Sydney and Melbourne being forced to flee their homes from violent conflict. Imagine those people wandering along bomb laden highways and across harsh deserts in search of safety for themselves and their families. It is difficult to fathom, but this is exactly what is happening in and around Syria. Syrians are… read more

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  • Facing politicians with clear eyes and full hearts

    Posted by Marissa

    13 March, 2014

    I still remember stepping wide-eyed and heart a-pounding into my first public meeting that I was required to speak at. There was a huge audience in front of me and I could just imagine how I would feel if I said the wrong thing or if I tripped up the stairs on the way to the microphone. I had been told by family and friends not to fear and just do my best, be confident and that I would do a great job. Somehow I made it through, even managing to crack a smile and a joke as I communicated my passion. “Wow,” I thought to myself, “they were really hooked!” I was eight and I was doing my public speaking project on wok cooking – one of my favourite jobs to help out with as a kid. I had successfully impressed the crowd with a sampling of my cooking and convinced everyone of the benefits of creating a scrumptious stir-fry. Fast-forward 12 or so years and I felt the same knot in my stomach as I stepped across the threshold onto the green carpet, escorted by a well-dressed young staffer as I headed into my first ever meeting with a… read more

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  • Gaining ground - but still a long way to go

    Posted by Mark

    11 March, 2014

    There has been some exciting progress being made on addressing global tax evasion. However, there is a lot more that still needs to happen and there is still a risk new global rules will be set that disadvantage developing countries and will restrict their ability to seriously tackle tax dodging by multinational corporations and wealthy individuals. At the meeting of the G20 Finance Ministers in Sydney on 22 and 23 February, the Finance Ministers and Treasurers again agreed “Profits should be taxed where economic activities deriving the profits are performed and where value is created.” They gave their full support for the G20/OECD Action Plan to address tax dodging. They committed to ensure that by the Brisbane G20 summit in November, they will start to deliver effective, practical and sustainable measures to counter tax dodging across all industries. They endorsed the OECD new global standard for countries and tax havens to exchange information with each other, a new tool for fighting the scourge of tax evasion. The Ministers and Treasurers stated… read more

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  • Aid. In the national interest. (Part 4)

    Posted by Ben

    20 February, 2014

    In this final post, I simply want to highlight one case study that demonstrates some serious risks and tragic outcomes from an aid project that overemphasised national interest, and the funding of infrastructure to boost economic growth. To be very clear at the outset, the use of this case study is not a criticism of the current Government. In fact, the project in question, the Railway Rehabilitation Project in Cambodia was supported by AusAID from 2010 ($27 million over four years) under the previous Government. However, the aid project failed to protect the rights of poor communities affected by the railway upgrading and construction and, as a result, communities were plunged deeper into poverty and, shockingly, children even died as a direct result. This project was managed by the Asian Development Bank along with the Government of Cambodia, it was partly supported by the Australian aid program, and an Australian company, Toll Holdings (operating in partnership with a Cambodian consortium), had a multi-year contract to build and operate the railway. It was… read more

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