Mr Strauss-Kahn said the fund would probably cut its global growth forecast
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said the global economy may not begin to recover until the end of 2009.
"2009 will be a very difficult year," IMF managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said at a conference on Spanish-IMF relations.
Mr Strauss-Kahn said the fund would probably cut its 2009 global growth forecast next month.
He also said the IMF could cut its 2009 forecast for China to around 5% amid an "unprecedented" global slowdown.
He said that growth in emerging economies such as China was on the decline and would not compensate for recessions in developed countries.
In November, the IMF lowered its global economic growth forecast to 2.2% from 3%.
"We started with China at 11% growth, then 8%, then 7% then China will probably grow at 5% or 6%," said Mr Strauss-Kahn.
"The possibility of a global recession is real, we realise something must be done... We need large and diversified stimulus support that will last longer than one or two quarters," he added.
The IMF's managing director said it would take $1.2 trillion, or about 2% of world GDP, to make "a sizeable difference and reduce the risk of a damaging global recession".