L’ AQUILA, Italy -Pope Francis on Sunday called on the international community to help Pakistan, where deadly floods have killed more than 1,000 people.

The Argentine pontiff appealed for “prompt and generous international solidarity”, and said he was praying for the victims.

His comments came as he visited the city of L’Aquila in central Italy, which was hit by an earthquake that killed more than 300 people in 2009.

The 85-year-old pope praised the people of L’Aquila’s “resilience” and “dignity”.

Pope Francis, who used a wheelchair during the visit, was due to return to the Vatican early this afternoon.

He will chair a meeting with cardinals from around the world on Monday and Tuesday, where they will discuss the future of the Catholic Church.