WASHINGTON—The world’s top economic officials plan to focus at a virtual meeting this week on the prospect of new Covid-19 variants and shutdowns undermining the global rebound, while weighing measures to prevent lasting damage to the poorest and most vulnerable populations.

The international economy is recovering faster than many economists projected just weeks ago, powered by growth in the U.S. and China and by the accelerating pace of vaccinations in many rich countries. Yet a new wave of lockdowns—from Europe to Canada—is threatening that growth, as many low- and middle-income nations with limited resources lag behind.

“The window of opportunity is closing fast,” said

Kristalina Georgieva,

managing director of the International Monetary Fund, co-host with the World Bank of the gathering, in previewing the issues facing central bankers and finance ministers. “The longer it takes to…

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