Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt brought a rare dose of Hollywood glamour to this beleaguered Caribbean nation during a visit on January 13.

The couple, who recently announced they are expecting a baby this summer, flew to Haiti from the neighbouring Dominican Republic, where Jolie is filming the movie The Good Shepherd, directed by Robert De Niro.

They travelled in a convoy through the capital of Port-au-Prince, protected by police and UN peacekeepers as crowds cheered them along the way.

“You hear so much just about the danger and the fear and then you come here and you meet just an amazing people,” said Jolie, a goodwill ambassador for the UN. “Given just a little chance, and given a little help, this is going to be a great country.”

Jolie, 30, and Pitt, 42, visited a school where some students receive scholarships from Yele Haiti, a charity founded by Haitian-born hip-hop musician Wyclef Jean. The couple watched children dance and recite poetry and met workers from a street-cleaning programme backed by the organisation and other groups.

They then headed to a juvenile jail where the charity plans to begin a tutoring programme for the inmates before attending a one-year anniversary party for Yele Haiti at the local television stationed owned by Jean. Children who receive scholarships from the organisation filled the studio, cheering the actors when they took the stage.

“We love this country and we plan to be back over and over again,” Jolie said.

Jean praised the actors for visiting during a time of insecurity. “To have these people grace our country is a beautiful thing,” he said.