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 Needs Overview Yemen 2023), there are more than 1.9 million people in need of assistance in Hajjah, which constitutes nearly 80% of the population. Sixty-one percent of them are in dire need.4, 2023 People in Need in Yemen 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. By end of 2022, the IDP population in Hajjah was approximately 580.000.5Ibid. 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.6OCHA, 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.7Interview 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.8OCHA, An Overview of the Humanitarian Needs in Yemen 2018. Teacher salaries are not being paid in Hajjah,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. 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 2016/2017.10OCHA, 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.11Interview with senior executive bureau official in Hajjah. March 2019.



District Size (km2) Population (Female) Population (Male) Population (Total)
 Bakil Al Mir 661 18,961 20,019 38,980
 Haradh 1,058 68,707 74,431 143,139
 Midi 667 2,023 2,212 4,235
 Abs 1,517 193,071 204,977 398,048
 Hayran 179 3,269 3,491 6,760
 Mustaba 285 47,792 52,228 100,020
 Kushar 250 72,818 76,662 149,480
 Al Jamimah 343 28,933 32,210 62,144
 Kuhlan Ash Sharaf 155 36,917 36,375 73,292
 Aflah Ash Sham 67 48,011 48,657 96,668
 Khayran Al  Muharraq 41 50,727 55,331 106,058
 Aslem 55 42,090 43,779 85,869
 Qafl Shamer 254 39,654 41,538 81,192
 Aflah Al Yaman 84 30,545 32,842 63,387
 Al Mahabishah 41 40,773 43,538 84,311
 Al Miftah 83 27,224 26,724 53,948
 Al Maghrabah 68 48,309 51,262 99,571
 Kuhlan Affar 286 31,839 32,088 63,927
 Sharas 130 13,005 13,374 26,379
 Mabyan 76 40,687 41,997 82,684
 Ash Shahil 196 24,635 25,486 50,122
 Ku’aydinah 105 56,692 58,243 114,935
 Wadhrah 448 9,422 10,278 19,701
 Bani Qa’is 24 43,411 45,069 88,480
 Ash Shaghadirah 518 38,822 39,295 78,117
 Najrah 43 28,681 29,457 58,138
 Bani Al Awam 87 41,508 42,215 83,723
 Hajjah City 61 52,837 58,106 110,942
 Hajjah 61 23,177 23,568 46,746
 Washhah 250 48,835 52,518 101,353
 Qarah 250 27,174 31,158 58,332
 TOTAL 8,338 1,280,551 1,350,127 2,630,678

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

Resources relevant to Hajjah

The Disaster of Yemen’s Flash Floods: Impact of and Local Responses to the Torrential Rains and Flooding in 2020

The Disaster of Yemen’s Flash Floods: Impact of and Local Responses to the Torrential Rains and Flooding in 2020

Report analysing flooding and the responses by local authorities and international (humanitarian) organisations in seven Yemeni governorates: Hajjah, Aden, Sana’a, Lahij, Hadhrwamawt, and Al Hudaydah.

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 […]