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Young people are often hesitant to access sexual and reproductive health services (SRH). They may feel shy or insecure to discuss private and sensitive issues with a health professional.

In areas where conflict has created distrust in government institutions, the barriers for youth to access public health care facilities are even greater. This distrust also affects the extent to which UNFPA is able to reach out to youth through its Youth Information Corners (YICs) as these tend to be located within public health facilities. "Young people in this area have no trust in governmental institutions because of conflict. As the YIC is located in a governmental facility, they are often reluctant to come here," a health staff explains. She further explains how staff usually only discover STIs when young people come for a pregnancy test, which is one of the very few services for which young people visit the health facility.

Valuable feedback was provided by both health staff and young people in areas affected by conflict, such as Kachin and Shan State, during UNFPA's in-depth review of its support to rural youth through the YICs. Besides the lack of trust of governmental health facilities, weakened community structures caused by conflict challenge the sustainability of development projects. Strong community ownership is key for sustainability, but when this is lacking it endangers efficiency and impact. According to the interviews conducted during the review, mistrust and weakened community structures negatively impact on the prevention of unplanned pregnancies, abuse of drugs and alcohol and other substances. This also increases the risk of contracting HIV, especially among young people. "It has a very damaging impact on the sustainability of these initiatives. We do not know how to improve this situation, it has been like this for about 20 years," one health staff explains, as she indicates UNFPA's support is needed in the area in which she works where HIV infections among young people are high.

Feedback from youth and health staff managing the YICs, and findings from self-administered, confidential questionnaires, as well as focus group discussions and key informant interviews, provide crucial information for a stronger approach on conflict transformation within UNFPA's youth programme in rural areas, especially related to YICs located in conflict affected areas.