The Governorate of Abyan is located in the southern part of the Republic of Yemen and borders Aden. It is 427 kilometers south of Sana’a. The governorate is located on the coast of the Arabian Sea and consists of 11 districts. Zinjibar is the governorate capital.

Abyan governorate information

Districts of Abyan:Al Mahfad, Mudiyah, Jayshan, Lawdar, Sibah, Rasad, Sarar, Al Wade'a, Ahwar, Zingibar, Khanfir.

Map of Abyan


Economy

Agriculture and fishing are the main economic activities in the Governorate of Abyan. Agricultural production from Abyan constitutes approximately 5% of the total agricultural production of the Republic of Yemen. The most important crops produced in the governorate are cotton, vegetables, and fruits.1https://www.yemenna.com/index.php?go=guide&op=show&link=abin. The governorate is also the site of livestock breeding and beekeeping.2Interview with one member of the local council of the Governorate of Abyan. March 2019.

According to the 2014 Local Authority Budget, central grants and subsidies constituted 97% of the total income of the governorate, while local revenues amounted to only 3% of the budget.3Please see the appendix for further information on these different types of revenue. Local revenues were mostly shared local revenues derived from sales of goods and services, zakat, taxes on goods and services, taxes on income, as well as fines and penalties. Revenues were adversely affected by the war.4Republic of Yemen, Ministry of Finance, Budget Sector: estimated local authority budget for the 2014 fiscal year.

According to the 2014 Households Budget Survey, the poverty rate in Abyan was 48.6%. With the economic downturn the governorate has faced due to the war, this rate is likely to have increased tremendously over the past few years.

 


Local governance

The governorate’s local council consists of 22 members in addition to the governor. There are two vacant seats, which could not yet be filled by elections. Although all 20 remaining members are present in the governorate, the local council has not held regular meetings since 2015. The administrative board of the council, which consists of the governor, the secretary general, and heads of the council’s committees, is performing the work of the council and has been holding ad-hoc meetings when needed.

The executive offices are functioning normally. They provide services to the people at the minimum level with support mainly from international donor organizations in areas such as education, healthcare, and humanitarian relief.5Interview with Local Council Member, Abyan. March 2019. Central government subsidies are currently limited.

 


Access to basic services

According to OCHA (Humanitarian Response Plan for Yemen 2018), there are nearly 500,000 people (88% of the population) in need of assistance in Abyan. Fifty-eight percent of them are in dire need.

Health services in the governorate are available through hospitals and healthcare facilities that rely mainly on support from international organizations. The services provided are very limited and insufficient to meet the needs of the population.6Interview with Local Council Member, Abyan. March 2019.

With regard to education, 69 schools have been damaged in the war in Abyan, according to OCHA (An Overview of the Humanitarian Needs in Yemen 2018). However, teachers were being paid regularly, as Abyan was one of the governorates receiving regular salary payments. Overall, education in Abyan appears to be stable and continues to function, with funding from local authorities and a number of donors.

As for drinking water, almost half (48%) of households in Abyan do not have access to potable water (OCHA: An overview of the humanitarian needs in Yemen 2018). Water services and sanitation are available in some districts, but not all. Local water services operate with support from international organizations.7Interview with Local Council Member, Abyan. March 2019.

 


Demographics

District Size (km2) Population (Female) Population (Male) Population (Total)
Al Mahfad 2,256 17,236 17,463 34,699
Mudiyah 992 22,458 23,428 45,886
Jayshan 824 9,359 9,836 19,196
Lawdar 2,166 55,741 59,553 115,294
Sibah 361 10,288 10,364 20,652
Rusad 198 35,563 35,258 70,821
Sarar 746 10,027 9,506 19,533
Al Wade’a 618 15,018 15,752 30,770
Ahwar 4,384 16,302 16,837 33,140
Zinjibar 2,199 16,566 17,578 34,144
Khanfar 2,199 70,441 73,424 143,865
TOTAL 16,943 279,000 289,000 568,000

Figures are 2017 Yemen Central Statistical Organization projections based on the 2004 census.


Resources relevant to Abyan

War and Pieces: Political Divides in Southern Yemen

War and Pieces: Political Divides in Southern Yemen

Analysis of situation in each of the governorates of the former PDRY with a special emphasis on local security actors This paper focuses on the origins, development, and prospects of political challenges in southern Yemen. It begins with an analysis of historical divisions in the south, outlining key issues within specific governorates – including the […]

The Enhanced Rural Resilience in Yemen (ERRY) Joint Programme: Local Governance and social cohesion interventions impact assessment

The Enhanced Rural Resilience in Yemen (ERRY) Joint Programme: Local Governance and social cohesion interventions impact assessment

Assessment of the local governance and social cohesion interventions under the Enhanced Rural Resilience in Yemen Programme in Abyan, Hajja, Hodiedah and Lahj governorates in Yemen This report presents the results of an assessment of the local governance and social cohesion interventions under the Enhanced Rural Resilience in Yemen (ERRY) Programme in Abyan, Hajja, Hodiedah […]

Beyond the Business as Usual Approach: Local governance in Yemen amid conflict and instability

Beyond the Business as Usual Approach: Local governance in Yemen amid conflict and instability

Detailed study of challenges to local governance in Yemen and how local councils are coping with conflict. Includes case studies and recommendations. This paper serves as an attempt to instigate and inform policy discussions amongst local, regional and international stakeholders regarding how they can best assist Yemen’s local councils in restoring public services and state […]

Perceptions of the Yemeni public on living conditions and security-related issues

Perceptions of the Yemeni public on living conditions and security-related issues

Survey of living conditions and local concerns with a focus on local safety and security. Includes data on all governorates except Sa’ada