The governorate of Ibb is located 193 kilometers south of Sana’a, in the central part of the Republic of Yemen. The governorate is also known as the “green province” for its verdant mountains and agriculture. The governorate is divided into 20 administrative districts. The city of Ibb is the capital of the governorate. Ibb was the center of several ancient and medieval states. Dhafar, the capital city of the Himyarites, and Jiblah, capital of Al-Sulayhi state, are located in the governorate.

Ibb governorate information

Districts of Ibb: Al Qafr, Yarim, Ar Radmah, An Nadirah, Ash Sha'ir, As Saddah, Al Makhadir, Hubaysh, Hazm Al Udayn, Far Al Udayn, Al Udayn, Jiblah, Ba'dan, As Sabrah, As Sayyani, Dhi As Sufal, Mudhaykhirah, Al Mashannah, Al Dhihar, Ibb.

Map of Ibb


Agriculture is the largest employer in the governorate and a cornerstone of its economy. Ibb produces 5.6% of the total agricultural production of the Republic of Yemen, making it the fourth-largest agricultural producer after Al-Hodeidah, Sana’a, and Marib. Cereals and vegetables are the most important crops. The governorate is also home to minerals used in manufacturing cement, basalt quarries and zeolite.1

According to the local authority’s 2014 budget, 95% of Ibb’s total revenue came from central subsidies, while local revenues accounted for 5%. The most significant local revenues were local shared revenues, especially zakat, taxes (on goods, services, income, and profit), the sale of goods and services, and fines and penalties.2 Republic of Yemen, Ministry of Finance, Budget Sector: estimated local authority budget for the 2014 fiscal year. Local revenues have decreased due to the war. Military confrontations have occurred in some districts, disrupting trade and agriculture. The establishment of the General Zakat Authority and the transfer of zakat to a central revenue has caused the governorate to lose income.

According to the 2014 Household Budget Survey, the poverty rate in Ibb was 56.6%. With the economic decline and military confrontations of the past years, this rate has likely increased significantly.

Local governance

The local council in Ibb comprises 20 members and the governor. One seat remains vacant because no elections were possible in the district in 2006. Two councilors have passed away and two are abroad for political reasons. This leaves the current membership of the council at 15. The local council is largely dormant, but it holds meetings from time to time as needed. Most of the meetings are joint meetings with the executive offices. By contrast, the administrative board of the council continues to function. The executive offices are working and performing their mandates regularly within the bounds of available resources.3Interview with one of the leaders of the local council, Ibb. March 2019. As in other areas under control of the de-facto authorities, the governorate supervisor is becoming increasingly important in local governance and wields significant power.

Access to basic services

According to OCHA, there are nearly 1.9 million people in need of assistance in Ibb, or about 57% of the population. Sixty-three percent of them are in dire need (status December 2022).4, 2023 People in Need in Yemen

Public hospitals and health centers provide health services in the governorate. However, available services are insufficient to meet basic needs. The local authority pays for a small fraction of the cost of healthcare. In addition, hospitals levy small service fees to cover part of the cost. Donors cover the largest portion of the cost of health services. In particular, they cover the cost of fuel needed to operate generators at the hospitals and health centers, and they provide medical equipment and emergency supplies. Donors also cover the costs of medicine as well as vaccination campaigns. There are also a number of private hospitals and health centers providing services to those with the financial means to pay for them.5Interview with one of the leaders of the local council, Ibb. March 2019.

Education has been disrupted in Ibb, where the war damaged 33 schools6OCHA, An Overview of the Humanitarian Needs in Yemen 2018. and teacher salaries are not being paid.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. The local authorities are not providing operational funding for schools. Parents and parents’ councils have sought to collect contributions and raise funds in some of the schools. UNICEF began paying a stipend for teachers in 2019 at a rate of $50 per teacher. This has helped restore education to a minimum level.8Interview with a member of the local council, Ibb. March 2019. Despite this initiative, many students who have the financial means to do so have enrolled in private schools.

As of 2016/2017, 77% of households in Ibb had access to potable water. Ibb is experiencing water scarcity, and the local water corporation is facing major challenges in meeting demand, given the influx of approximately 230,000 IDPs in the governorate (status December 2022).9, 2023 People in Need in Yemen To address the problem, donors are helping to drill new water wells. The sewage system in the city is working, but covers only some neighborhoods.10Interview with one of the leaders of the local council, Ibb. March 2019; and: UNICEF, A report on the humanitarian situation in Yemen, October 2018, p. 7.


District Size (km2) Population (Female) Population (Male) Population (Total)
 Al Qafr 676 79,876 78,099 157,974
 Yarim 581 125,743 125,743 249,330
 Ar Radmah 326 56,227 54,783 111,010
 An Nadirah 312 56,721 53,726 110,448
 Ash Sha’ir 145 30,411 27,847 58,257
 As Saddah 270 43,267 38,292 81,559
 Al Makhadir 224 81,840 79,543 161,383
 Hubaish 228 84,505 67,759 152,264
 Hazm Al Udayn 476 68,584 55,939 124,524
 Fara’ Al Udayn 373 77,356 63,862 141,218
 Al Udayn 362 109,156 95,088 204,244
 Jiblah 156 87,786 80,591 168,377
 Ba’dan 240 90,352 77,123 167,475
 As Sabrah 346 50,971 46,945 97,916
 As Sayyani 238 84,264 79,077 163,341
 Dhi As Sufal 181 136,487 129,077 265,564
 Mudhaykhirah 195 62,435 53,382 115,817
 Al Mashannah 74 75,654 79,028 154,681
 Al Dhihar 74 123,868 129,844 253,712
 Ibb 74 107,175 97,549 204,724
 TOTAL 5,552 1,632,677 1,511,141 3,143,818

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

Resources relevant to Ibb

Entrenched Power: The Houthi System of Governance

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Law 4/2000 Concerning the Local Authority

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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

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Yemen’s Draft Constitution of 2015

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