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Sarah Vuylsteke worked as the Access Coordinator for the United Nations World Food Programme in Yemen from February to December in 2019. In this position, she traveled throughout the country, interacting with representatives from all sides of the conflict trying to facilitate aid delivery. Since 2015, she has worked for the United Nations and other international organizations in South Sudan, Yemen, the Central African Republic and Cameroon, and she is presently a field coordinator with Médecins Sans Frontières. Prior to 2015, Vuylsteke worked on human rights and conservation issues in Uganda, Sierra Leone and Liberia. She has an LLM in Public International Law from the University of Amsterdam, and has authored and co-authored articles and reports for various agencies on political, economic and humanitarian issues.

Sarah's latest contributions

The Yemen Brief Podcast | Episode 4 | How the International Humanitarian Response is Failing Yemen

April 17, 2022
Sana’a Center Researcher AbuBakr al-Shamahi talks to Sarah Vuylsteke, the author of our report "When Aid Goes Awry: How the International Humanitarian Response is Failing Yemen". This episode focuses primarily on is Yemen really the worst humanitarian crisis in the world? Does data support this or not? The Yemen Brief Podcast is the place to … Read more

Flawed Data Continues to Plague Humanitarian Response in Yemen

March 15, 2022
In October 2021, I published a series of reports with the Sana'a Center revealing deep failures in the humanitarian aid system in Yemen. Based on interviews with 73 aid workers, UN staff, analysts and experts, the reports described an inefficient and inappropriate humanitarian response driven by flawed data and beholden to myths. Key issues raised … Read more

Monitoring: Accountability Falters When Oversight is Outsourced

October 29, 2021
Enormous quantities of relief items intended for those most in need are constantly being shipped across Yemen. These dispatches of food, medical supplies and other goods will arrive and be signed off by implementing partners — often government or Houthi authorities as well as aid organizations — who receive the items in their warehouses. What … Read more

Rethinking the System: Is Humanitarian Aid What Yemen Needs Most?

October 29, 2021
The response in Yemen is called humanitarian, but is it really? And more importantly, does it need to be? A humanitarian response is understood to provide material support to those who have been affected by natural disasters and conflict. It is meant to be short-term, to ensure that people can survive until the disaster is over or governments or … Read more

A Principled Response: Neutrality and Politics

October 29, 2021
On paper, Yemen is a principled humanitarian response, much like any other. Strategic documents from the past six years set out frameworks and codes of conduct that clearly reference the four fundamental principles that guide any response: humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence as well as the principle of first do no harm. While the … Read more