Monday, October 1, 2012
Politicians “Face Up” to Cutting Global Poverty by 50 Percent by 2015
By Jeremy Reynalds
Senior Correspondent for ASSIST News Service
AUSTRALIA (ANS) -- Hundreds of Christians from across Australia joined politicians at Parliament House on Sept. 18 as they added their photos to a giant 2015 Puzzle – a symbol of Australia’s commitment to halve global poverty by 2015.
New Life said they were joined by a group of antipoverty campaigners who were in Canberra for Micah Challenge’s annual Voices For Justice event. They have been urging politicians to finish what Australia started when the Government signed onto the UN Millennium Development Goals in 2000.
New Life said according to Micah Challenge’s National Coordinator John Beckett, significant progress is being made towards the Millennium Development Goals in every country that receives Australian aid, which is why it is crucial to keep global poverty on the political agenda.
“It’s great to see our political leaders come out in such strong support of such important goals, which have in some cases already been achieved. In other cases many inroads have been made,” New Life reported Beckett said.
He added, “In the top ten Australian aid recipients, child mortality has fallen from between 30 to 70 percent since 1990. For example, in one of our closest neighbouring countries, East Timor, one in every six children was dying but that number is now all the way down to one in every 20.”
New Life said Beckett continued, “Worldwide, five million more children are living to celebrate their fifth birthday than in 1990 and aid has played a significant part in that progress. We know that aid works. But we are still offtrack when it comes to the Millennium Development Goals that target hunger, education and health.”
Beckett said, “Today is about getting the message on poverty back on the agenda and back into the minds of our decisionmakers. We know that aid is effective for saving lives, and yet we currently give just 0.35 percent of national income to overseas aid – or 35c in every $100 – which is still a far cry from the UN target of 0.7 percent.”
New Life said Beckett added, “Over the years, both the government and opposition have talked about increasing overseas aid but it’s now time to turn intention into action.”
New Life reported antipoverty campaigners held around 100 private meetings with MPs and senators to encourage all parties to support an increase in Australia’s overseas aid.
Micah Challenge and Make Poverty History released a new report on Millennium Development Goal progress at the Voices for Justice event, and all MPs and senators were asked to pledge renewed commitment to the international goals.
Voices For Justice is an initiative of Micah Challenge – a global movement of aid and development agencies, churches, schools, groups and individual Christians who want to influence world leaders to meet their commitments to the Millennium Development Goals.
Go to www.micahchallenge.org.au for further detail.
** You may republish this story with proper attribution.
Send this story to a friend. Share