The Governorate of Hajjah is located 123 kilometers northwest of Sana’a, due north of Al-Hodeidah, between Amran to the east and the Red Sea to the west. It borders the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and is divided into 31 administrative districts.

Hajjah governorate information

Districts of Hajjah: Bakil Al Mir, Haradh, Midi, Abs, Hayran, Mustaba, Kushar, Al Jamimah, Kuhlan Ash Sharaf, Aflah Ash Shawm, Khayran Al Muharraq, Aslem, Qafl Shamer, Aflah Al Yaman, Al Mahabishah, Al Miftah, Al Maghrabah, Kuhlan Affar, Sharas, Mabyan, Ash Shahil, Ku'aydinah, Wadhrah, Bani Qa'is, Ash Shaghadirah, Najrah, Bani Al Awam, Hajjah City, Hajjah, Washhah, Qarah,

Map of Hajjah


Agriculture and animal husbandry are the key economic activities in Hajjah. The governorate produces 4.6% of the total agricultural production of the Republic of Yemen. The most important crops are fruits, cash crops, vegetables, and cereal. Beekeeping and fishing in the coastal areas of the governorate are also important economic activities. Hajjah borders Saudi Arabia, and transport and trade through the border crossing of Haradh is economically significant and provided an important source of customs income. However, the border is now highly securitized and very limited legal trade takes place. The governorate also has mineral deposits, most significantly gold, copper, nickel, cobalt, feldspar, and quartz. The governorate attracts domestic tourists to its cultural heritage sites and thermal springs. It is also known for handicrafts.1

In 2014, 92% of Hajjah’s budget was financed by grants and central subsidies, while local revenues accounted for 8%. The most significant local revenues are local shared revenues, particularly zakat, and taxes (income taxes and taxes on profits, goods, and services).2Republic of Yemen, Ministry of Finance, Budget Sector: estimated local authority’s budget for the 2014 fiscal year. The war has reduced the availability of local revenue due to its impact on the economy. The establishment of the General Zakat Authority and the transfer of zakat to a central revenue has caused the governorate to lose an important source of income.

According to the 2014 Household Budget Survey, the poverty rate in Hajjah reached about 64%. More recent statistics suggest that the poverty rate is now 83%. The Interim Food Security Classification for 2019 ranks Hajjah as the governorate with the second-highest levels of poverty in Yemen, after Al-Hodeidah.

Local governance

Hajjah’s local council is composed of 31 members and the governor. Currently, there are only 24 councilors present in the governorate. One is deceased and six are abroad. The war has disrupted the work of the local council due to the partial destruction of the government complex, which houses the local authority in the governorate. Due to ongoing casualties from fighting and due to the poor health situation in the governorate more broadly, to the extent it can be used, the governorate’s main administrative building is being rehabilitated for use as an annex to the city’s Republican Hospital.

In addition, loss of revenue, insecurity, and instability have hampered the work of the council. Despite two administrative board members being in exile, the administrative board has continued to carry out its mandate with the limited resources available. The local council met in March 2019.  Executive offices have continued to function, but their performance is at a bare minimum.3Interview with senior executive bureau official in Hajjah. March 2019.

Access to basic services

With regard to the humanitarian situation and according to OCHA (Humanitarian Response Plan for Yemen 2018), there are nearly 1.9 million people in need of assistance in Hajjah, which constitutes nearly 90% of the population. Sixty-three percent of them are in dire need. Based on recent reports, Hajjah is one governorates  most heavily damaged by fighting and airstrikes. Active fighting occurred in a number of districts, with Kushar district the most seriously affected.

During the end of 2018 and early 2019, there was a sharp increase in the number of IDPs from 203,000 to 420,000. IDPs are currently based in 300 IDP camps in the various districts of the governorate.  Poor water availability and a lack of sanitation services, especially for IDPs, has increased the incidence of cholera and other diseases. International organizations are working to address these needs.4OCHA, a report on urgent needs for the Governorate of Hajja, 23 February-11 March 2019, Issue No. 3.

Following the destruction of several hospitals and health centers, the governorate is suffering from an absence of health services. For a time, only one public hospital remained in service. It provides services to the population with support from international organizations. Funding from the local authority is minimal. Support from donor organizations has more recently allowed some local hospitals to reopen. Fighting, an influx of displaced people, and the spread of infectious diseases has increased demands for health services.5Interview with senior executive bureau official in Hajjah. March 2019

Next to the destruction of health infrastructure, schools in Hajjah have also suffered, with 161 schools damaged by the war.6OCHA, An Overview of the Humanitarian Needs in Yemen 2018. Teacher salaries are not being paid in Hajjah,7Economic 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. which has disrupted education. Ongoing fighting at the time of writing is causing further damage to schools and other basic infrastructure.

According to OCHA, 71% of households in Hajjah did not have access to potable water in 2016/2017.8OCHA, An Overview of the Humanitarian Needs in Yemen 2018. Water and sanitation services are still functioning in the city of Hajjah, but at a bare minimum and largely thanks to external support.9Interview with senior executive bureau official in Hajjah. March 2019.



District Size (km2) Population (Female) Population (Male) Population (Total)
 Bakil Al Mir 661 15,088 16,005 31,093
 Haradh 1,058 63,309 68,91 132,219
 Midi 667 11,454 12,566 24,02
 Abs 1,517 93,619 99,918 193,537
 Hayran 179 10,803 11,599 22,402
 Mustaba 285 29,105 31,97 61,075
 Kushar 250 51,846 54,859 106,705
 Al Jamimah 343 27,361 31,573 58,934
 Kuhlan Ash Sharaf 155 32,135 31,857 63,992
 Aflah Ash Sham 67 38,038 38,773 76,81
 Khayran Al  Muharraq 41 47,278 51,829 99,107
 Aslem 55 35,035 36,584 71,619
 Qafl Shamer 254 35,609 37,482 73,091
 Aflah Al Yaman 84 26,756 28,909 55,665
 Al Mahabishah 41 35,385 37,963 73,348
 Al Miftah 83 23,211 22,939 46,15
 Al Maghrabah 68 44,105 47,026 91,131
 Kuhlan Affar 286 28,779 29,186 57,966
 Sharas 130 11,09 11,467 22,557
 Mabyan 76 36,055 37,43 73,485
 Ash Shahil 196 23,22 24,133 47,352
 Ku’aydinah 105 49,798 51,349 101,148
 Wadhrah 448 7,447 8,173 15,62
 Bani Qa’is 24 38,52 40,173 78,693
 Ash Shaghadirah 518 34,954 35,557 70,511
 Najrah 43 25,399 26,239 51,639
 Bani Al Awam 87 37,063 37,916 74,978
 Hajjah City 61 37,119 41,027 78,146
 Hajjah 61 21,074 21,563 42,637
 Washhah 250 42,764 46,272 89,036
 Qarah 250 20,58 23,753 44,333
 TOTAL 8,338 1,034,000 1,095,000 2,129,000

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

Resources relevant to Hajjah

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.

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 […]