World Bank President David Malpass said work is underway to standardize contracts for COVID-19 vaccines that countries sign with pharmaceutical companies.
Malpass stressed that the bank urges those companies to be more open about the areas where doses go to, as it seeks to get poor countries to obtain more vaccines.
Malpass told Reuters that he expected the bank’s board to approve $ 1.6 billion in vaccine funding for 12 countries including the Philippines, Bangladesh, Tunisia and Ethiopia by the end of March, with another 30 countries to follow shortly after.
He said that the bank is working with local governments to identify and fill gaps in the ability to distribute after purchasing vaccines as part of a $ 12 billion World Bank program as well as to standardize the contracts it signs with manufacturers.
He added that the bank’s International Finance Corporation has four billion dollars to invest in expanding existing production plants or building new ones, including in developed countries, but it needs more data on the areas to which the current production goes.