Haiti, one of the very poorest countries in the world where chronic malnutrition is widespread.
It is also one of the most violent and has suffered decades of political instability and insecurity.
Thousands of United Nations soldiers and police are stationed there, trying to bring some normality to life in this Caribbean country.
Orin Gordon reports on one of the country's most corrosive problems, kidnapping.
BBC Radio 4's Crossing Continents was broadcast on Thursday, 24 July, 2008 at 1102 BST. It was repeated on Monday, 28 July, 2008 at 2030 BST.
Reporter: Orin Gordon
Producer: John Murphy