JDA believes each person has unique creative abilities to make a difference in their lives, in their families, in their communities and their nation. The creative capacity of each person is at the heart of the transformational development process. JDA helps catalyze transformational development by investing in individuals to help them realize their unique creative potential in solving their own problems, transforming their own lives as well as their families and communities. Societies that are most successful in helping its people realize their creative potential is the society that will be most successful.
Afghanistan is one of the poorest countries in the world. Since the Soviet invasion in 1979, it has been the scene of a series of conflicts that have continued for three decades. Poverty in Afghanistan is widespread throughout rural and urban areas. The government estimates that 42% of the country's total population lives below the national poverty line. Another 20 per cent of the people live just above that line and are highly vulnerable to the risk of falling into poverty.
Years of civil war, compounded by Taliban rule and the worst drought in memory, have devastated Afghanistan. Virtually all of the country's institutions and much of its infrastructure were destroyed. In the last few years of Soviet rule the infrastructure was already dilapidated. In the central Asian republics transition has been difficult and little has been done to improve or expand basic infrastructure
In regions where there is war, conflict, natural disasters, great transition and change the first response to the needs of people should be humanitarian aid and relief support. JDA's response to needs in communities is usually first with humanitarian aid, helping provide food, shelter, water, and social and spiritual support.