The governorate of Amran is one of the governorates established after Yemeni unification. It is located 50 kilometers to the north of Sana’a city between Sana’a governorate and Sa’adah along the central highlands. It is divided into 20 administrative districts. The city of Amran is the governorate capital.

Amran governorate information

Districts of Amran: Harf Sufyan, Houth, Al Ashah, Al Qaflah, Shaharah, Al Madan, Suwayr, Habur Zulaymah, Dhi Bin, Kharif, Raydah, Jabal Iyal Yazid, As Sudah, As Sawd, Amran, Maswar, Thula, Iyal Surayh, Khamir, Bani Suraim.

Map of Amran


Agriculture is the most important activity for the population of the governorate. The most important crops are cereals and vegetables. Livestock breeding is also an important economic activity. Agricultural production has been declining since the outbreak of the war as high fuel prices and falling household purchasing power have increased costs and reduced income for farmers. The governorate is home to the Amran Cement Factory, which uses locally mined scoria and perlite.1

In 2014, Amran governorate derived 94% of its total general revenue from grants and central subsidies, while local revenues accounted for 6%.2Please see the appendix for further information on these different types of revenue. The most significant local sources of revenue are local shared revenues, zakat, revenues from goods and services, and fines. The war has damaged the governorate’s economy and the establishment of the General Zakat Authority and the transfer of zakat to central revenue has caused the governorate to lose an important source of income.3Republic of Yemen, Ministry of Finance, Budget Sector: estimated local authority budget for the 2014 fiscal year.

In 2014, the poverty rate in Amran was already very high at 76%.4Households Budget Survey 2014. This rate has likely increased significantly during the past few years and may exceed 80-90%. The Interim Food Security Classification for 2019 ranks Amran as the governorate with the third-highest levels of poverty, after Al-Hodeidah and Hajjah. Unemployment is very high.

Local governance

The local council of the governorate consists of 20 councilors in addition to the governor. There are two seats that were not filled in 2006, as elections could not be held in the appropriate districts. One councilor is deceased and four councilors are abroad. This brings the current membership of the council to 13 councilors. The work of the council has been suspended since the beginning of the war. The local council has not been able to convene regular meetings due to the destruction of the government complex, which housed the local council. The administrative board of the local council is carrying out its role, although it meets irregularly. Most Islah members of the governorate and district councils (85 members) have fled the governorate. There are no female council members at the district or governorate level.

The work of the local authority is performed mainly by the governor, the vice-governor (the Secretary General of the Local Council), and the head of the services committee. However, as in other areas under control of the de-facto authorities, the governorate supervisor is becoming increasingly decisive in local governance decisions. In Amran, supervisor and governor remain distinct roles, unlike in some other governorates under control of Ansar Allah.

Executive offices in the governorate are present and functional, performing the day-to-day work of local administration. The offices conduct their business from leased office spaces, since their permanent offices in the government complex were destroyed.5Interview with senior executive bureau official in Amran. March 2019.


Access to basic services

There are nearly 900,000 people (90% of the population) in need of assistance in Amran, 44% of whom are in dire need.6OCHA, Humanitarian Response Plan for Yemen 2018.

Public hospitals and health centers provide limited health services to the population with support from international donors. Support from the local authority is very limited. Available health services are insufficient to meet the needs of the population, especially following the influx of many IDPs to the governorate.7Interview with senior executive bureau official in Amran. March 2019.

With regard to education, the war damaged 32 schools in Amran and teachers’ salaries are not being paid.8Economic and Social Development In Yemen Newsletter, Issue No. 30, December 2017, published by the Economic Studies and Forecast Sector in the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation. Education increasingly relies on fee funding. UNICEF and the Social Fund for Development have contributed to the rehabilitation of damaged schools. UNICEF also furnished a number of large tents for use as classrooms.9Interview with senior executive bureau official in Amran. March 2019.

In 2016/2017, only 40% of Amran’s population had access to potable water. The water supply network in Amran city was cut off at the beginning of the war. Water services have since resumed with support from donors.10UNICEF, A report on the humanitarian situation in Yemen, October 2018, p. 7. Work is ongoing to expand the network to cover hitherto unserved areas of the city with support from international organizations.11Interview with senior executive bureau official in Amran. March 2019.


District Size (km2) Population (Female) Population (Male) Population (Total)
 Harf Sufyan 2734 24,713 26,464 51,177
 Houth 370 12,909 13,850 26,760
Al Ashah 652 24,871 27,994 52,865
Al Qaflah 495 21,391 22,759 44,150
 Shaharah 176 26,729 25,733 52,462
Al Madan 108 16,131 16,278 32,410
 Suwayr 151 11,962 13,067 25,029
Habur Zulaymah 200 23,685 23,837 47,522
 Dhi Bin 344 18,302 18,897 37,199
Kharif 265 27,471 27,463 54,934
Raydah 218 27,562 28,314 55,876
Jabal Iyal Yazid 242 50,784 50,086 100,870
As Sudah 174 19,613 19,000 38,613
As Sawd 157 15,686 15,453 31,138
Amran 119 55,620 59,593 115,213
Maswar 131 23,108 22,904 46,012
Thula 173 24,512 24,368 48,880
Iyal Surayh 240 31,880 32,275 64,155
Khamir 722 43,780 43,865 87,645
Bani Suraim 242 19,290 19,801 39,091
TOTAL 7,911 520,000 532,000 1,052,000

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

Resources relevant to Amran

Changing local governance in Yemen: District and governorate institutions in the areas under Ansar Allah’s control

Changing local governance in Yemen: District and governorate institutions in the areas under Ansar Allah’s control

Report on the ways local governance is changing in the areas under Ansar Allah’s control. Focuses on Ansar Allah’s takeover of local institutions, renewed efforts to collect taxes and other revenue, increased centralisation, and a collapse of local budgets and salaries. War, the economic blockade of Yemen, Ansar Allah’s policies, and international aid have combined […]

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