Pope Francis urged international solidarity with Lebanon Sunday, in the wake of the explosion that devastated the capital Beirut and as France hosts an international donors conference to aid reconstruction efforts.

He also called on church leaders in Lebanon to lead by example.

"Last Tuesday's catastrophe calls on all of us, starting with the Lebanese people, to work together for the common good of this beloved country," he said.

The church in Lebanon should stay close to the people in their hour of need, with "solidarity and compassion", he said, speaking after weekly prayers in Saint Peter's Square. 

"I also renew my appeal for generous help from the international community.

Pope Francis was speaking as French President Emmanuel Macron hosts a UN-backed virtual conference to drum up aid for Lebanon after the massive Beirut port blast.

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