ASTM International, IFC Sign Memorandum of Understanding for Global PPE Activity

Global standards organization ASTM International and International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, today signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to promote the use of personal protective equipment in select countries around the world.  

Under the MoU, ASTM International and IFC will work together to develop and disseminate knowledge on standards for personal protective equipment (PPE) and compliance requirements globally. Scientific studies have shown that the proper use of personal protective equipment, such as face masks, is highly effective in the prevention of the spread of COVID-19. ASTM International and IFC will promote awareness and good international practices related to the use of PPE, including through capacity building and standards cooperation, in select countries. IFC’s involvement is under its Global Health Platform, which supports investments in health products and services related to the pandemic.

"We are excited to be partnering with IFC  to advance understanding and acceptance of personal protective equipment standards in a variety of countries around the world,” said Katharine Morgan,  ASTM International president. “We look forward to working together to share ASTM’s technical knowledge and standards so that the world can benefit from better-performing PPE." 

Tania Lozansky, the Global Head of Advisory Services for Manufacturing, Agribusiness and Services at International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, said, "IFC’s Global Health Platform was launched to support healthcare providers and health product manufacturers in emerging markets with investments and advisory services. As part of this initiative, IFC aims to enhance local production of quality PPE in developing countries and diversify the global supply base. ASTM’s extensive experience on PPE standards' development and adoption is critical to this agenda."

The MoU describes a framework for collaboration that would occur in two main categories:

  • Raising awareness about applicable PPE standards and compliance requirements for medical- and nonmedical-grade personal protective equipment
  • Assisting in the adoption of international PPE standards, specifically community mask standards, by relevant national authorities in the selected countries 

Together, ASTM International and IFC have agreed to develop educational material regarding personal protective equipment, conduct a series of webinars for PPE manufacturers, leverage ASTM's existing agreements with national standards bodies or relevant associations in the selected countries, and establish cooperative agreements with relevant stakeholder organizations, among other activities. 

ASTM International recently launched the Global Collaboration Forum on Personal Protective Equipment aimed at addressing challenges facing PPE and advancing standards development. The goal is to facilitate collaborative activities and inter-organizational communication to address the needs of PPE manufacturers and to promote technical alignment in the global PPE supply chain. To learn more, visit 

About IFC

IFC —a member of the World Bank Group —is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work in more than 100 countries, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in developing countries. In fiscal year 2020, we invested $22 billion in private companies and financial institutions in developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit

ASTM Media Contact: Dan Bergels, tel +1.610.832.9602; 

Release #11206


March 25, 2021