G20 leaders will hold an online videoconference today in a bid to fend off a coronavirus-triggered recession or even depression.
The meeting, to be chaired by Saudi King Salman, is expected to be held at 1200 GMT.
The group had faced criticism for being too slow in addressing the coronavirus crisis.
US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin will join the emergency videoconferencing.
The meeting comes as the world’s 20 most industrialised countries scramble to defend their virus-wracked economies amid forecasts they will likely plunge into recession this year
G20 Chairman King Salman, is under pressure to end an oil price war with Moscow that has roiled energy markets.
Meanwhile, the global death toll from COVID-19 soared above 21,000 on Thursday and over 3 billion people were locked down in their homes.
King Salman said on Twitter: “As the world confronts the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges to healthcare systems and the global economy, we convene this extraordinary G20 summit to unite efforts towards a global response.”
The G20 members will be joined by leaders from other affected countries including Spain, Jordan, Singapore and Switzerland, Riyadh said.
Leaders from international organisations such as the United Nations, World Bank, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) will also participate.