2010年5月30日 星期日

B4L11 Doctors without Borders 無國界醫療團隊


1. Their goal was to provide emergency medical aid, no matter where it was needed or who needed it.(第3行)
(1) no matter可以跟疑問詞what, who, which, where, when, how等連用,而這種用法跟whatever, whoever, whichever, wherever, whenever, however看情況有時可以互相代換。
例:No matter who wins, it will be a fair game.
  = Whoever wins, it will be a fair game.
  = It will be a fair game, whoever wins.

(2) 這裡的 who needed it 前省略了 no matter。對等連接詞 or 連接的兩部分原來應該是一致的,所以這個子句應為 no matter where it was needed or no matter who needed it,為了避免重複,因此省略後面的 no matter。

2. The philosophy of MSF is that all people have the right to medical care, regardless of race, religion, or nationality.(第11行)
(1) have the right to + N 有….的權利
     have the right to + V 有做…的權利

3. It has offices in twenty countries and has provided medical help in eighty-five countries, including Rwanda, Chechnya, Kosovo, Liberia, Afghanistan, and Iraq.(第17行)
including 意為「包含」,相關用法如下:
including 介系詞用法——
例:All of us will join the marathon race, including our homeroom teacher.
included 形容詞用法,放在名詞後——
例:All of us will join the marathon race, our homeroom teacher included.
inclusive of 形容詞用法,放在名詞前,較formal的用法——
例:The total cost will be $1,000, inclusive of postage and handling.

4. Only a small number of the volunteers are doctors.(第26行)
a number of 幾….;一些…..
a good number of 相當多的…
a large number of/large numbers of 許多的….;大量的…..
a great number of 許多的…..;大量的…..
a small number of 少數的…..;為數不多的……
要注意的是,若是 the number of ... 作主詞時,動詞要與number一致,用單數。
例:The number of victims of the plane crash was estimated at over 200.

5. Most volunteers serve as nurses, medical technicians, sanitation engineers, and administrators.(第27行)
serve as 當「擔任…..職務」解。
例:Don’t worry. I’ll continue to serve as your secretary until a new one arrives.

6. Although the volunteers are paid only a small amount to cover their cost of living, they are rewarded in many other ways.(第29行)
(1) although的用法
(a) 儘管:despite the fact that
例:Although Mr. Peterson knew it was dangerous to go to Africa to practice medicine, he still decided to go.
(b) 但是:even though
例:She is really smart, although she seldom gets good grades at school.

(2) cover v. (金錢)足以付……;(範圍)占,(主題)涵蓋;蓋,遮蔽;報導
例:Jack is paid very little for the odd jobs he does---barely enough to cover his cost of living.   The rain forest covers a small part of this country.

7. One doctor said that practicing medicine at a refugee camp was like getting a hands-on lesson in the history of medicine, far away from his everyday experiences in a modern medical center.(第31行)
(1) 和 medicine 相關的用詞:
(a) medicine當「醫學」解。
practice medicine 行醫, study medicine 讀醫, preventive medicine 預防醫學
(b) medicine當「藥;醫藥」解。
a prescription medicine/prescribed medication 處方藥,
an over-the-counter medicine/medication 無醫師處方也可合法出售的藥
internal medicine 內服藥, external medicine 外用藥

8. Another volunteer summed up her work this way: ‘It’s a life-changing experience.”第34行) It is the kind of experience that can really change your way of thinking about life.
(1) sum up當「總結」解。
例:The only word that can sum up my situation during this time is CHAOS.
(2) life-changing是一複合形容詞,修飾後面的experience,當「改變一生的;改變生命的」解。
a life-changing experience = an experience that can change life
因此本句亦可寫成 It is an experience that can change one’s life.
複合形容詞(compound adjectives)是指那些由兩個或兩個以上的字所組合起來的形容詞,字詞中間用連字號來連接。英文中的複合形容詞有許多不同的組合方式,以下是幾種常見的組合方式:
(a) N-N:           例:nineteen-century England
(b) adj.-N+ed   例:a red-haired woman
(c) 數詞-N       例:a five-story building
(d) N-V-ing       例:a time-consuming job
(e) N-p.p.          例:a sun-dried tomato
(f) adj.-V-ing      例:a good-looking young man
(g) adj.-p.p.        例:a red-painted roof
(h) adv.-V-ing     例:a fast-moving storm
(i) adv.-p.p.         例:a well-done steak
※ (h) 跟 (i) 裡的adv. 如果是以ly結尾,A字與字之間不需加上連字號。例如:
a brightly shining star, a carefully made cake

9. MSF is best known for its rapid response in times of crisis.(第37行)
(1) be known for 當「以…..出名」解。此片語加了一個best是強調「最…..」。
同義的片語有:be famous for; be noted for
例:Beitou is famous for its hot springs.

(2) in times of 在……的時候
in times like this 在像這樣的時候
good/hard times 安和樂利的時候/艱難時候 10. When a medical emergency occurs, MSF sends in an advance team to find out what kind of help is needed.(第39行)

(3) send in在此當「調動」解。
例:A large number of rescue workers were sent in to the disaster area.

11. ..., MSF sends in medical teams with emergency-room experience and fully equipped surgical tents, electrical generators, medicine, food, and clean water.(第49行)
MSF送來的醫療團隊具備緊急救護經驗,medical teams with emergency-room experience(軟體)以及醫療器材與補給品等medical team fully equipped surgical tents, electrical generators, ....(硬體)。
(2) 登山露營(camping)除了帳篷(tent)外,還可能需要攜帶的其它裝備:
backpack 背包,  first aid kit 急救箱, sleeping bag 睡袋, raincoat 雨衣, canteen 水壺, compass 羅盤, pocketknife 折疊式小刀, flashlight 手電筒, lighter/matches 打火機/火柴

12. However, out of 1,393 new drugs developed since 1975, only about 1% were targeted at these diseases.(第62行)
(1) out of 當「從…..之中」解。
例:One out of ten adults is susceptible to this disease.
(2) developed since 1975 為分詞片語,修飾前面的new drugs。在developed前面加上which/that were就形成關係代名詞所引導的形容詞子句。
(3) 1% were = 1% of the new drugs were
... percent of + N當主詞時,動詞要與of 後面的名詞一致。
例:Forty percent of his income comes from investments in stocks.

13. In 1999, the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded MSF the Peace Prize for its “pioneering humanitarian work on several continents.”第64行)
(1) award的用法:
award somebody something (for...)
award something to somebody (for...)
例:The committee awarded John a silver medal for his bravery.
  The committee awarded a silver medal to John for his bravery.
  John was awarded a silver medal for his bravery.
  A silver medal was awarded to John for his bravery.

14. ... medical aid should not be tied to wars or politics, but only to the dignity of people.(第68行)
not ... but ... 當「不是….而是…..」解。
例:He came to the meeting not because he wanted to but because he had to.

15. He went on to say, “An organization like this shows how much can be accomplished with simple and affordable methods.”第69行)
(1) 文法/句型
go on + to V 表「接著做(另一事)…」之意。
go on to + N 表「接著(另一事)……」之意。
go on + V-ing 表「繼續做….」之意。
go on with + N 表「繼續……」之意。

I. Words for production

1. N + N 
emergency aid 緊急援助,emergency room 急診室,emergency exit 緊急出口,emergency supplies 緊急供給,emergency landing 緊急迫降,emergency measures 緊急應變措施,in an emergency = in case of emergency 在緊急時

Medicare n. [U] 醫療保險制度
emergency medical aid 緊急醫療救助
medical examination/checkup 健康檢查
medical practitioner 內/外科醫生;開業醫生
medicine chest 家庭用急救箱

promote efficiency in 促進…..的效率
low/high efficiency 低/高效率
with efficiency 有效率地
be efficient in/at 勝任;有效率

emergency medical relief 緊急醫療救援
on relief 接受救濟的
to one’s relief 令某人感到欣慰的
What a relief! 終於鬆了一口氣!
relief fund 救濟基金
relief pitcher 救援投手

step into the spotlight 走到聚光燈下
in/under the spotlight 成為眾人焦點所在
put/turn the spotlight on ... 把焦點放到/轉移到…..

be badly/critically/seriously wounded 傷勢嚴重
be mortally/fatally wounded 傷勢可能致命
be deeply wounded 深深受到傷害
a bullet wound 子彈傷口
a gunshot/knife/stab wound 槍傷/刀傷/刺傷
open old wounds 打開舊傷
rub salt in the wound 在傷口上灑鹽

a laboratory technician 實驗室技術員
a hospital technician 醫院技術員
technical college (= polytechnic) 理工學院
technical support 技術支援
technical training 技術訓練

sanitation worker 垃圾清潔工;清掃員
public sanitation 公共衛生
sanitary conditions 衛生狀況

in reward for 作為….的獎賞
ask no reward 不圖回報
give a reward to somebody for something 為某事給某人報酬

a refugee camp 難民營
a refugee government 流亡政府
take/seek refuge 避難到…..
find refuge in 躲在…….;逃避於…….

friend n. [C] 朋友→ friendship n. [U] 友誼
citizen n. [C] 公民 → citizenship n. [U] 公民身份
champion n. [C] 冠軍→ championship n. [C] 冠軍;冠軍的地位
scholar n. [C] 學者 → scholarship n. [C] 獎學金

be content with + N 滿足於…..
be content to + V 滿足於做……..
in peace and content 滿足平靜
to one’s heart’s content 心滿意足地;盡情地
content oneself with something 使滿足於………..

well-educated adj. 有教養的
education/educational reform 教育改革
get a good education 獲得良好的教育
compulsory education 義務教育
moral/intellectual/physical education 德/智/體育
adult/vocational education 成人/職業教育
educational expenses/background 學雜費/教育背景;學歷
an educational film/television 教育性電影/電視節目
the Ministry/Minister of Education 教育部/部長

humanitarian aid and supplies 人道救援物資
human immunodeficiency virus = HIV 人體免疫缺損病毒
human nature 人性
the human race 人類
human relations 人際關係
human resources 人力資源
human rights 人權

a tropical island 一座熱帶小島
tropical fruit 一種熱帶水果
tropical rainforest/rain forest 熱帶雨林
tropical ecosystem 熱帶生態系統
the tropical zone 熱帶地區
the semitropical/subtropical zone 亞熱帶
the temperate zone 溫帶
the cold/frigid zone 寒帶

熱帶地區大約分佈在赤道(the Equator)兩端,而南北兩極極圈(the polar circles)與赤道之間A為溫帶地區,北迴歸線(the Tropic of Cancer)到北極圈 (the Arctic Circle)是北半球溫帶地區(the north temperate zone);而南迴歸線(the Tropic of Capricorn)到南極圈(the Antarctic Circle)之間則為南半球溫帶地區(the south temperate zone),而從極圈到兩極的地方則為寒帶地區。亞熱帶地區是泛指緯度23.5度到35度左右,屬於最靠近熱帶地區的溫帶地區範圍。

drug test 藥物檢測
do/use drugs/be on drugs 有吸毒/在吸毒
drug addict 有毒癮的人
drug dealer 毒販
drug abuse 毒品問題
drug overdose 吸毒過量
drug trafficking 毒品走私

II. Words for recognition
a makeup kit 一個化妝包
a bike repair kit 一個修理腳踏車工具箱
a shaving kit 一個刮鬍刀工具箱
first aid kit 一個急救箱
survival kit 一個求生裝備箱
tool kit 一個工具箱

an emergency generator 緊急發電機
generate profit/income/revenue 帶來利潤/所得/收入
generate excitement/interest/support 引起、招來刺激/興趣/支持
a generating station 發電廠
generation gap 代溝

2010年5月24日 星期一

Categories of Adjectives

As we know, participles or participial phrases can act as "adjectives"; however, they also have a function as "adverbs." The following statements come from the Ho's Complete English Grammar book.

2010年5月20日 星期四

B4L10 Body Language 肢體語言

1. It’s one of the things we can’t help doing.(見第1行)

(1) one of + N 複數形 ~ 其中之一
(2) can’t help + V-ing/N= can’t help but + 原形V,意思是「忍不住,不自主會…..」。
例:Mary is so pretty. Tim can’t help falling in love with her.   = Mary is so pretty. Tim can’t help but fall in love with her.

2. Similarly, it’s said of some Europeans that if you were to cut off their hands, they wouldn’t be able to communicate at all; to them, hand gestures are an essential part of their communication.(見第4行)

(1) 此句表示傳說的內容是有關一些歐洲人的。
(2) were to假設語氣用來表示未來假設,但是其實現性低,或是不可能實現。
例:If you were to buy me an airplane, I would fly us both around the world.   

if + S1 + should + V, S2 + would/could/should/ might + V
例:If I should win the lottery, I would share it with you.

3. This shows that they are either, at best, just trying to be polite or, at worst, lying.(見第10行)

(1) 主詞this指的是前面一句話所指的情形,也就是人們嘴裡說的和他們肢體語言所表達的不一致。
(2) either ... or ... 連接兩個子句,但是or後面的子句,因為主詞和動詞(they are)都跟either後面所接的一樣,所以省略。

4. Some of these aspects are standard around the world, while others vary from culture to culture.(見第16行)

例:Mary likes spicy food, while her husband likes light dishes.

5. It’s something that happens in international cities when people from different cultures come together at a party.(見第19行)

(1) 分裂句 It is + 強調名詞 + that 剩下的詞語

(2) when所引導的是副詞子句。該子句的動詞是come,from different cultures則修飾主詞people

6. As one person tries to get closer to talk, the other person, if from another culture, might try to move away. (見第21行)

= As one person tries to get closer to talk, the other person, if he or she is from another culture, might try to move away.

(1) 有兩個人時,one指的是二人中的一個,the other指的是另外那一個。
(2) if  from another culture為插入句,用以對前方的字詞等(本句中省略the other person comes)作解釋或是提供額外的資訊。插入句置於句中時前後皆要有逗點。

7. The furthest [(that) business people feel comfortable standing away from each other] is in one of the most crowded countries in the world: Japan.(見第26行)

= In Japan, business people stand further away from each other than in any other countries. This is interesting because Japan is one of the most crowded countries in the world.

(1) 劃線部份是本句的主詞。The furthest 是主詞,其後省略了distance,做其後子句business people feel comfortable中動詞feel的受詞。
(2) standing away from each other修飾前面的business people,要表達的是when they stand away from each other。

8. These are some distances at which people feel comfortable standing next to each other.(見第30行)

例:Jenny is the girl with whom I used to play when I was a child.   This is the house in which he has lived for more than thirty years.

9. Differences in hand gestures have become less daunting in recent years with the popularity of international movies [that take common gestures from one culture and introduce them to another.](見第39行)

(1) with所引導的是介系詞片語,當副詞用,修飾動詞片語have become less daunting。
(2) that所引導的是形容詞子句,修飾其先行詞international movies


10. Someone who has seen a foreigner’s unusual gesture in a movie is less likely to be confused or offended by it when they see someone else doing it in person.(見第42行)

(1) who所引導的是形容詞子句修飾其先行詞someone。
(2) foreigner n. [C] 外國人 foreign adj. 外國的 be foreign to 無關的 foreign aid外援
(3) be likely to是本句的動詞片語
(4) it指的是a foreigner’s unusual gesture

11. c. the listener is putting on weight(見第61行)
(1) 現在進行式最常用來表達下列意思:
A. 現在正在進行的動作
例:Jerry is taking a shower right now. Would you like to leave a message?
B. 持續在發展或改變的情況,如本句中的is putting on weight是在表示「體重愈來愈重」的意思。
C. 未來的動作 (尤其指來去動詞)
 例:What are you doing this weekend?

(2) weight n. [U] 體重,重量 weigh v. [T] 重達…;秤重量
put on weight 體重增加 (= gain weight)
lose weight 體重減輕
例:What is your weight?   
How much does a camel weigh in kilograms?   
The grocer weighed the bag of apples.   

12. In Spain, snapping the thumb and first finger together a few times means ________. (見第62行)

手指頭 (finger) 的說法: thumb 拇指 first/index finger 食指 (= forefinger) second/middle finger 中指 third/ring finger 無名指 fourth/little finger 小指 (= pinkie) 腳趾頭 (toe) 的說法: big toe 大拇趾 second toe 第2趾 third toe 第3趾 fourth toe 第4趾 little toe 小趾

13. a. you want faster restaurant service(見第64行)
service n. [U] 服務 serve v. [T] 為….服務、效勞
at your service 隨時效勞
do someone a service 協助某人
serve someone right 某人罪有應得
例:If you need any help, I am at your service.   
Mr. Chen has done me a great service.
It will serve him right if he catches a cold.

14. In Sri Lanka, moving your head from side to side means ________. (見第77行)
from side to side 表示「左右地」的意思,故move your head from side to side表示「搖頭」的意思。
例:The ship rolled from side to side. It made me sick.

from/on all sides 從/在四面八方
side by side 並排著,並肩
stand by sb's side 和….在一起,支持….
take sides with ... 加入(…)一方,袒護(….)
take sb's side 支持某人,偏袒某人

2010年5月16日 星期日

Transitional Expressions

A "transitional expression" is a conjunctive adverb or phrase which is used to help your writing as coherent as possible. Then, your reader can understand how you have organized your material and how your writing goes, moving from one point to the next.

2010年5月15日 星期六

B4L9 Chiufen: A Cultural Treasure of Taiwan 台灣文化的瑰寶


1. The town of Chiufen, located on a mountainside overlooking the Pacific Ocean, is regarded as one of Taiwan’s unique cultural treasures.(見第1行)
(1) located on a mountainside是過去分詞片語修飾九份,作「位於山邊」解,是由關係子句which is located on a mountainside簡化而來。

(2) overlooking the Pacific Ocean是現在分詞片語修飾mountainside,作「俯視太平洋」解,是由關係子句which overlooks the Pacific Ocean 簡化而來。
例:The office building overlooking the Keelung River is the highest one in that area.

2. ..., and a chance to let the imagination wander back in time.(見第4行)
(1) 使役動詞let、have跟make的一些常見用法:
a. let/make + O + V
例:I didn’t want to let Jim know that I had once been married.
  It made me understand what a fool I had been to trust a guy like Scott.
b. have + O + p.p.
例:Maggie went to a beauty salon to have her hair done for the wedding.
c. be made to V
例:Lucinda must be made to see that her actions are hurting others.
       Some people believe that rules were made to be broken.

(2) 【比較】
wander v. [I](漫無目的)到處走、徘徊
stroll v. [I](在某處輕鬆地)溜達、閒晃
stride v. [I](有精神或威風地)跨大步走
tiptoe v. [I](用腳尖)躡手躡腳地走

3. Old brick buildings, packed intimately together, one row built just above the other, offer a charming, relaxed view.(見第5行)

(1) packed intimately together 是過去分詞片語,修飾前面的舊磚房,做「緊密地接合」解,是由關係子句which are packed intimately together簡化而來。

(2) one row built just above the other 為片語也修飾前面的舊磚房,其中built是由which is built 簡化而來。just 為副詞作「正好;就在」解,是加強語氣的用法。

(3) view n. [C] 景觀;觀念,看法
point(s) of view n. [片語] 觀點
in view of prep. [片語] 有鑑於
with a view to prep. [片語] 為了要

4. Narrow, dark alleyways, paved in stone that is now worn down by the foot and carriage traffic of many decades, ....(見第7行)

(1) paved in stone 是過去分詞片語修飾前面又窄又暗的小路,做「由石頭鋪設」解,是由關係子句which were paved in stone簡化而來。
人行道的英式說法(British English)是pavement;美式說法(American English)是sidewalk。

(2) that is now worn down by the foot and carriage traffic 為形容詞子句修飾前面的stone,意思是「現在這些石頭被足跡和車輛磨損」。

5. Just as picturesque and romantic as the scenery of Chiufen is the story behind it.(見第11行)
The story behind it is just as picturesque and romantic as the scenery of Chiufen

6. Beginning as a tiny, unknown village, it grew into a booming gold mining town, then later became a peaceful artists? colony, and finally one of the major tourist attractions in northern Taiwan.(見第13行)
Beginning as a tiny, unknown village 為一現在分詞片語,其主詞為後句的it,也就是九份,因為主詞一致所以省略,又因是主動所以用現在分詞,其原子It (Chiufen) began as a tiny, unknown village.

7. ..., it is this fascinating past that has made the town so popular today.(見第16行)
(1) 此句為it is ... that 的句型,為一加強用法,強調的部份為be動詞與that 之間的部份,第三段第二句亦有相同用法:..., it is from these nine families that Chiufen derives its name, ....

(2) has made the town so popular是V + O + OC的結構。

8. Hoping to get rich quick, people flocked to the town, which came to be known as “the gold capital of Asia.”見第28行)
(1) Hoping to get rich quick 為一現在分詞片語,其主詞為people,因為主詞和主要子句一致所以省略。
(2) which came to be known as “the gold capital of Asia” 為非限定子句,補充說明the town,也就是九份。

9. By the 1930s, the town had grown to between 3,000 and 4,000 homes.(見第31行)
by + 時間 表示「在……之前」,主要子句的時態依句意而改變。
例:By the 1960s, the gold was nearly gone.
  By 2020, Tony will have been a teacher for forty years.

10. ..., the town remained as attractive as ever. (見第46行)
remain as + adj. + as ... 保持和……一樣……
例:Nancy remained as young as she was ten years ago.

不完全不及物後接形容詞修飾主詞,即S + Vi + SC
常見之連綴動詞有: to be, to become, to appear, to seem, to get, to grow, to turn, to go, to prove, to remain, to stay, to look, to feel, to smell, to sound, to taste等。
Sarah remained calm. 莎拉保持鎮靜。
The train is slow. 火車是慢的。
James grew tired. 詹姆士變得疲倦。
The milk went bad. 牛奶變壞。
The man died young. 那個人死得早。

11. ..., they can get a feeling of what the town was like nearly a century ago.(見第66行)
(1) of what the town was like nearly a century ago 為介系詞片語,修飾前面的feeling。
【補充】:what the town was like是由疑問句所改變而來的名詞子句,作為介系詞of的受詞。這種由疑問句所改變而來的名詞子句,可以當作句子的主詞或受詞,或者放在介系詞後面當該介系詞的受詞。
例:What you say isn’t always the same as what you really mean.
  I don’t know why he did that, but he must have a good reason.
  Are you aware of how dangerous it is to leave your child alone at home?

(2) be like + N
例:When I found out I’d failed the test, it was like a nightmare.
look like 看起來像是
behave like 行為舉止像是
sound like 聽起來像是
例:Gina’s baby son really looks like his daddy.
  You are twenty-one years old now, so stop behaving like a child.
  The man on the phone sounded like Mr. Anderson, but I’m not sure it was him.

2010年5月10日 星期一


Chris, 請幫我解題,謝謝^^

(A)8. According to the weather report,____ over the next few years.
(A) the weather is unlikely to improve
(B) it is unlikely that the weather improve
(C) the weather unlikely improves
(D) the weather will unlikely improve


NO. (既是單選,就選最好的答案)
See the description of "likely" on Dec. 23, 2009.
(1) likely是代表一種期望的「預測性的可能」。後面可加不定詞片語(to V片)或that子句(that S' +V'),也可以用 very 修飾。

a. 人/事物 be (very) likely to V~
b. It is likely that S + will + V~
So does "unlikely."

(C)4.These people are worried_____.
(A) their future  (正確是about their future)
(B)what can they eat (正確是 about what they can eat)
(C)about how they are going to survive
(D)about that they don't have enough money (正確是刪去about)


1. worry (be worried) about N.
2. worry (be worried) (about) what-clause. (多半不加 about)
3. worry (be worried) that S + (may) + V

See the following examples:
The teacher worried that these problems might be too hard for her students.

2010年5月9日 星期日

數習§3-2 、10題考卷

§3-2 (對的要打勾, 錯的要訂正)
1. a2=-3, a8= -3/64

2. 1458

3. a2=1/2 , a3=1 ,a4=2 a5=4

4. x=5 or -29/6 (不合)

5. a=25 , b=9

6. 12

7. 6560

8. n=5

9. (1) 400 (2) 1

10. -9n-10)
11. 8 , 12 , 18


1. A C D A B
6. B A C D B

2010年5月6日 星期四

Here Comes the Winner!

悅讀Biginner獎 (讀完6本,成績達80分以上)

優質cube獎: 0

學習家獎: 0

2010年5月2日 星期日

Questions about Transitional Expressions

Chris, 有些轉折詞用法好相似,我有點分辨不出來,請你幫幫我^^

however,on the other hand, on the contrary, in contrast 這三個轉折詞好像

克漏字U.22最後一個配合題however, on the other hand, on the contrary這三個轉折詞,讓我不知道怎麼解題


2010年5月1日 星期六



Updated April 13, 2010


One of the poorest and least developed countries in the world, Haiti in recent years has struggled with problems ranging from near-constant political upheaval, health crises, severe environmental degradation and an annual barrage of hurricanes.
On Jan. 12, 2010, a devastating earthquake struck Haiti, reducing much of its capital to rubble. It was the worst earthquake in the region in more than 200 years. A study by the Inter-American Development Bank estimates that the cost could be between $7.2 billion to $13.2 billion, based on a death toll from 200,000 to 250,000. The toll has been since been revised by Haiti's president at upwards of 300,000.
Huge swaths of the capital, Port-au-Prince, lay in ruins, and thousands of people were trapped in the rubble of government buildings, foreign aid offices and shantytowns. Schools, hospitals and a prison collapsed. Thousands of new amputees are facing the stark reality of living with disabilities in a shattered country whose terrain and culture have never been hospitable to the disabled.

Political Instability and Natural Disasters

Since 2008, the situation has worsened dramatically, with the nation staggering beneath the double whammy of food riots, government instability and a series of hurricanes that killed hundreds and battered the economy.
Hurricanes Gustav, Hanna and Ike and Tropical Storm Fay landed within the space of a month in August and September 2008. Nationally, damages came to a total of $900 million, or nearly 15 percent of the gross domestic product. The national toll was 800 dead, down from 2004 when 3,000 perished.
With the absence of jobs, many Haitians have sought work in the United States and elsewhere despite the global financial crisis. With some 900,000 youths expected to come into the job market in the next five years, dismal prospects are the main threat to stability.
The January 2010 earthquake left the country and its densely populated Port-au-Prince in ruins, its poorly constructed buildings and shanties destroyed or seriously compromised and the government broken.
More than 3,000 school buildings in the earthquake zone were in shambles; hundreds of teachers and thousands of students were killed. Some schools may never reopen, leaving vast numbers of children languishing in camps or working in menial jobs, struggling to sustain themselves.
In April, Mr. Préval put the death toll at more than 300,000.