In Yemen’s Ibb Governorate, Economic and Physical Security Are Out of Reach for Most Residents

Ibb governorate is home to a quarter of Yemen’s estimated 2 million internally displaced persons (IDPs).


The southwest governorate’s capital city has been under Houthi control since fall 2014. When Navanti researchers visited this year, they found that violence remains a daily concern for residents, who complained of kidnappings for ransom and shootings, including among local Houthi forces.

Government salaries and pensions are disbursed late in Ibb, if at all, increasing reliance on humanitarian aid and remittances from abroad. To save money, residents use solar panels for power, and purchase firewood instead of diesel for heat.

Economic life has not stopped entirely in Ibb, known as “the fertile province” for the amount of rainfall it receives. Several markets still function in the provincial capital, including a livestock market.

Grocery stores are stocked with essentials, although many residents complained that the price of even basic grains was so expensive as to be nearly out of reach.

Much of Ibb’s IDP population comes from the nearby city of Ta’izz, whose remaining residents live under a partial siege. Job opportunities are especially scarce for this vulnerable group. Until conflict dies down in Ta’izz, and elsewhere in Yemen, IDPs will continue to eke out a living in Ibb through whatever assistance they can get.