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 approximately 750,000 people (61% of the population) in need of assistance in Amran, 65% of whom are in dire need.6, 2023 People in Need in Yemen The current IDP population of Amran is 275,000 (status December 2022).7Ibid.

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.8Interview 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.9Economic 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.10Interview 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.11UNICEF, 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.12Interview with senior executive bureau official in Amran. March 2019.


District Size (km2) Population (Female) Population (Male) Population (Total)
 Harf Sufyan 2734 28,248 30,003 58,252
 Houth 370 17,616 18,739 36,355
Al Ashah 652 26,409 29,475 55,885
Al Qaflah 495 21,868 23,075 44,943
 Shaharah 176 35,266 33,615 68,881
Al Madan 108 20,084 20,055 40,139
 Suwayr 151 17,135 18,543 35,678
Habur Zulaymah 200 29,795 29,728 59,523
 Dhi Bin 344 20,890 21,368 42,258
Kharif 265 32,057 31,714 63,771
Raydah 218 33,320 33,876 67,196
Jabal Iyal Yazid 242 62,174 60,688 122,862
As Sudah 174 23,430 22,457 45,886
As Sawd 157 20,685 20,179 40,864
Amran 119 63,345 67,233 130,578
Maswar 131 28,810 28,232 57,041
Thula 173 28,396 27,916 56,311
Iyal Surayh 240 35,990 36,057 72,047
Khamir 722 48,205 47,770 95,974
Bani Suraim 242 13,625 13,839 27,464
TOTAL 7,911 607,347 614,561 1,221,908

Figures are based on the 2021 Humanitarian Needs Overview Yemen, OCHA. Population figures include the number of IDPs and residents.

Resources relevant to Amran

Entrenched Power: The Houthi System of Governance

Entrenched Power: The Houthi System of Governance

Report on the modalities of Houthi governance, focusing particularly at the supervisory system and networks of power at the national level, but with a discussion of governorate supervisory systems and economic networks.

Law 4/2000 Concerning the Local Authority

Law 4/2000 Concerning the Local Authority

The full text of the Local Authorities Law 4/2000 in English and Arabic.

Supporting Local Governance in Yemen: Steps to Improving Relationships between Citizens and Government, Manual for Local Councilors, Civil Society Organizations and Citizens

Supporting Local Governance in Yemen: Steps to Improving Relationships between Citizens and Government, Manual for Local Councilors, Civil Society Organizations and Citizens

This manual was designed for local councilors and civil society organisations in Yemen. It introduces the role of local councils within the local governance set-up of Yemen and introduces tools that councilors and civil society actors can use to monitor expenditure and improve relations with citizens. It introduces a six-step process for assessing public expenditure […]

Yemen’s Draft Constitution of 2015

Yemen’s Draft Constitution of 2015

This is an unofficial translation of Yemen’s draft constitution that was finalized on 15 January 2015 by the Constitutional Drafting Committee. This unofficial translation was carried out by the United Nations and reviewed by International IDEA ( The draft includes 446 articles along 10 chapters, prepared by the Constitution Drafting Committee. The committee which was […]

Improving Relations between Central State Institutions and Local Authorities

Improving Relations between Central State Institutions and Local Authorities

White Paper on the relationship between local authorities and central governments in Sana’a and Aden respectively, including a set of recommendations.