Kachin men cut bamboo to build huts at the Hpun Lum Yang IDP camp near Laiza. Pic: AP.

YANGON, Burma (AP) — The United Nations will be allowed into Burma’s strife-torn Kachin state to deliver humanitarian aid for the first time since a recent escalation of fighting between ethnic rebels and government troops.

An announcement of the deliveries came Wednesday after the two sides agreed Monday to work toward ending a bloody conflict that has forced thousands of civilians to flee the area in northern Burma.

A U.N. spokesman, Aye Win, said it was “significant” that aid could be delivered for the first time since fighting escalated in December.

The timing of the first aid delivery was still being discussed. The U.N.’s last aid mission to Kachin state was in July.

The conflict in Kachin state has cast a shadow on Burma’s progress toward democratic reforms after a half-century of military rule.