“The divergence across economies is intensifying,” Kristalina Georgieva, the managing director of the I.M.F., said on Saturday. “Essentially, the world is facing a two-track recovery.”
Some finance ministers also expressed concern over the weekend that variants and slow vaccine uptake could upend the recovery. That concern was highlighted as a downside risk to the global economy in the joint statement that the group released.
“The single hurdle on the way to a quick, solid economic rebound is the risk of having a new wave of pandemics,” said Bruno Le Maire, the French finance minister. “We all have to improve our vaccination performance.”
The I.M.F. executive board approved a plan last week to issue $650 billion worth of reserve funds that countries could use to buy vaccines and to finance health care initiatives.
Ms. Yellen said that she had pressed her Group of 20 counterparts to accelerate “equitable” delivery and distribution of vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics to ensure that low- and middle-income countries could fight flare-ups of the virus.
Policymakers at the meeting this weekend also spent time focusing on new investments to prepare for future pandemics. Ms. Yellen said that, while this was important, there was more that needed to be done in the near term.
“Certainly variants represent a threat to the entire globe,” she said.