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More than 200 Christians meeting with Australian politicians to advocate for the world’s poor

More than 200 Christians, representing every major Christian denomination, are meeting with the nation’s politicians in Canberra today as part of Micah Australia’s Voices for Justice event.

Some 80 face-to-face meetings with politicians are scheduled.

Tim Costello, executive director of Micah Australia, said with the Australian Government’s Mid-Year Economic Fiscal Outlook only days away, it was a unique opportunity for Christians in Australia to bring a message to Canberra that efforts to reduce global poverty must not let up.

“In the geopolitical competition for the Pacific, we must ensure poverty reduction is not lost,” he said in a statement. “We must retain our focus on improving the lives of our Pacific friends and neighbours.”


“After such great strides of progress, it’s almost unbelievable that we have seen a resurgence of the things we were beating in our region. After being polio-free, we have seen a resurgence of polio in Papua New Guinea and a nine-fold increase of malaria infections. We must stop this backslide.”

Costello described the recent announcement that part of Australia’s $2 billion infrastructure fund for the Pacific will “come at the cost of the existing grants-based aid program” as “deeply concerning”. 

“We can’t turn our backs on those who most benefit from life-saving initiatives like immunisations, basic health services and WASH programs that Australia has a strong track-record of delivering.”

He said that MYEFO likely to show a return to surplus in Australia’s budget, there are “no more excuses” for slashing aid.

“We are meeting with parties across the political divide to ensure Australia’s aid is compassionate and in line with our understanding of ourselves as a nation that looks after those doing it tough. It’s time to be generous again.”

Australia’s foreign aid budget is currently at 0.23 per cent of gross national income – its lowest level ever, according to Micah Australia.


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