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 two million people in need of assistance in Ibb, or about 70% of the population. Twenty percent of them are in dire need.4OCHA, Humanitarian Response Plan for Yemen 2018.

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 150,000 IDPs in the governorate.9OCHA, 2019 Humanitarian Needs Overview: Yemen, December 2018. 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 69,726 68,553 138,279
 Yarim 581 118,148 116,723 234,871
 Ar Radmah 326 51,452 50,51 101,962
 An Nadirah 312 50,284 47,988 98,272
 Ash Sha’ir 145 27,566 25,441 53,007
 As Saddah 270 57,648 51,583 109,231
 Al Makhadir 224 76,699 75,071 151,77
 Hubaish 228 77,253 62,657 139,91
 Hazm Al Udayn 476 57,588 47,488 105,076
 Fara’ Al Udayn 373 64,599 53,913 118,512
 Al Udayn 362 101,081 88,831 189,912
 Jiblah 156 77,918 72,084 150,001
 Ba’dan 240 82,062 70,792 152,854
 As Sabrah 346 48,104 44,61 92,714
 As Sayyani 238 75,518 71,416 146,934
 Dhi As Sufal 181 111,767 106,232 218
 Mudhaykhirah 195 54,87 47,439 102,309
 Al Mashannah 74 66,437 69,377 135,814
 Al Dhihar 74 101,123 106,253 207,376
 Ibb 74 99,157 91,039 190,196
 TOTAL 5,552 1,469,000 1,368,000 2,837,000

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

Resources relevant to Ibb

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.

Yemeni Traditional Tools for Disputes Resolution and the Role of women and Men

Yemeni Traditional Tools for Disputes Resolution and the Role of women and Men

Survey on the traditional tools used to settle disputes in Yemen, including tools used by women which may be used in future; and the extent to which women are affected by disputes and obstacles related to women’s engagement in settling disputes.   Youth Leadership Development Foundation (YLDF) is a non-governmental non-profit organization, located in Sana’a […]