After two years of negotiations, the Burmese government has allowed the European Union to open a humanitarian field office in Rangoon.
In a statement, E.U. officials said the new facility that opened Wednesday will allow the 25-nation bloc to improve its assessment of the humanitarian needs of the country.
Since 2000, the E.U. has provided Burma with financial assistance targeting basic health needs, water, sanitation and nutrition.
Humanitarian groups have denounced ongoing human rights abuses in the poor, mostly rural country, which has been ruled by the military for more than four decades.
Despite multi-party legislative elections in 1990 that resulted in the main opposition party - the National League for Democracy-NLD winning a landslide victory, the ruling military junta has refused to hand over power.
NLD leader and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Aung San Suu Kyi and her supporters are routinely harassed or jailed.