The killer tsunami that ripped the heart out of southern Asia's coastlines the day after Christmas last year brought a global relief effort the likes of which the world had not witnessed before.

Governments, corporations, individuals and nonprofits pledged at least $11.4 billion to help rebuild the battered countries in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand and other countries. An estimated 200,000 persons were killed and millions were left homeless.

USA Today newspaper reports the initial relief push with housing and medical care limited outbreaks of disease. But politics and bureaucratic red tape are keeping the money from trickling down to the thousands of waiting victims.

Some governments set deadlines for aid groups to leave, hoping to take on rebuilding tasks themselves. Sri Lanka only last week agreed on how to distribute aid in areas held by rebel Tamil Tigers. Indonesia first sought to ban rebuilding within 1.2 miles of its coastline, angering fishermen and others.

Donors deserve better than that. The next time ? and we pray that there won't be one ? money won't flow as fast if the dollars don't get immediately to the cause.

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