The United Nations said today that it had been allowed by the Myanmar government to deliver emergency aid to displaced people in rebel-held territory in the northern state of Kachin for the first time in nearly a year.
A 10-truck UN-led convoy left on Wednesday with food and other essential items for about 5,000 of the tens of thousands of people displaced by two years of violence in the far north of the former military-ruled country.
The development came after the government and the rebels last month reached a preliminary ceasefire agreement in a bid to end a conflict that has forced about 100,000 people to flee their homes.
More than half of the displaced are living outside of government-controlled territory,according to the UN,whose missions had been on hold since July 2012 due to a lack of permission from the authorities.
“The cross-line convoy represents a positive step forward by the government to help all people in need across Kachin State,” the UN humanitarian coordinator in Yangon,Ashok Nigam,said in a statement.
“It is crucial for this convoy to be the first of many,and that regular and unimpeded access to all people displaced in Kachin State is sustained,” he added.