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The year 2017 brought renewed energy to young people’s sexual and reproductive health in Southern Africa as UNFPA embarked on Phase 2 of one of its flagship programmes, Safeguard Young People (SYP).

UNFPA stepped up political engagement in the region to intensify progress towards integrated youth-friendly HIV and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) services for adolescents and young people, with a strong link to comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) for in- and out-of-school youth.

SYP’s holistic approach is unique in joining the dots to address the SRHR needs of young people –including policy and laws, education, health and, critically, the agency of young people. The synergy of shared goals enabled SYP and its partners – governments, regional bodies and civil society – to work more efficiently and exceed annual targets in certain areas.

SYP has proved one of UNFPA’s most effective tools to meet our three transformative results over the next four years: ending unmet need for family planning, ending preventable maternal deaths, and ending gender-based violence and harmful practices.