Emergency in the Myanmar-Bangladesh border region

Vienna, 13 November 2017 - At its 120th session, the INCB discussed the deteriorating humanitarian crisis in the Myanmar-Bangladesh border region and noted calls for the international community to support the humanitarian efforts.

In September 2017, the UN Secretary General appealed to the international community to provide humanitarian assistance to persons displaced or affected by the conflict in Myanmar as well as in the border regions of Bangladesh where refugee camps have been established. According to UN estimates, 1.2 million people require humanitarian assistance as a result of the ongoing crisis and contributions worth USD 434 million are needed.

The Board calls on the international community to support relief efforts in the Myanmar-Bangladesh border region and notes that the humanitarian crisis will require urgent shipments of medications, including medicines containing internationally controlled narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.

The Board would like to remind all Governments that in acute emergencies, such as the present humanitarian crisis in the Myanmar as well as in the border regions of Bangladesh where refugee camps have been established, it is possible to apply simplified control procedures for the export, transportation and provision of controlled medicines. Under the current circumstances, competent authorities may export medicines containing controlled narcotic drugs and/or psychotropic substances to affected countries even in the absence of corresponding import authorizations and/or estimates. Urgent deliveries need not be included in the estimates of the receiving country.

INCB President Viroj Sumyai speaking on behalf of the Board said: "I urge the international community to heed the Secretary General's call for humanitarian assistance, including in the provision of needed medical supplies and care. INCB is ready to assist in whatever manner it can according to its mandate."

Competent national authorities may find further information on the subject in the Guidelines for the International Provision of Controlled Medicines for Emergency Medical Care developed by the WHO in cooperation with the INCB.

Competent national authorities are invited to contact the INCB for assistance or for information required to facilitate the supply of controlled substances to the affected region.

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