ISLAMABAD- There is need to create awareness and education about the importance of hand washing in order to reduce incidences of diarrhea in children, said Kamal Hyat, Managing Director Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund. It is estimated that over 230,000 children die a year because of water-borne diseases, such as diarrhea and typhoid but wash the hands with soap could reduce this figure significantly. Sop Companies has been working as the trusted protector of Pakistan with an endeavor to improve the lives of millions by spreading the message of health and hygiene; and continues in this role with renewed vigor and zeal to build a happier, cleaner Pakistan. Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) and Unilever on Friday signed an agreement to promote hand wash across 2 districts in Punjab under the rural hygiene awareness programme. Managing Director PPAF Mr. Kamal Hyat and Chairman Unilever (Pakistan) Mr. Ehsan Malik signed the agreement. In partnership with PPAF, Unilever-Lifebuoy has agreed to initiate and execute through PPAF the hand wash programme in the two chosen districts in rural areas of Punjab. In this one year agreement Unilever & PPAF will educate over 50,000 community members of Narowal and Bakkar. Lifebuoy will work with PPAF in training NGO's, providing free Lifebuoy soap and hand washing material and other joint activities. PPAF is the lead institution for poverty-focused interventions in the country. Set up as a fully autonomous private sector institution, PPAF enjoys facilitation and support from the Government of Pakistan, the World Bank and five leading multinational bilateral and international corporate. The outreach of PPAF now extends throughout Pakistan and its micro credit, community physical infrastructure, drought mitigation, education, health and capacity building interventions have expanded all over the country. PPAF today is the largest World Bank-supported programme of its kind in the world, according to a press release issued here.   PPAF has partnered with 72 organizations working in 33,500 villages and 117 districts across the country.  PPAF's cumulative operational activities entail over 2 million microcredit loans (impacting 12.5 million with 45 per cent women and 100 per cent recovery rate), over 18,000 health, education, water and infrastructure projects (impacting 8.8 million with 50 per cent women beneficiaries), 250,000 trained individuals, staff and communities (42 per cent women) and a grassroots network of 100,000 community organizations and groups.   In earthquake-hit areas, PPAF has disbursed housing grants to over 117,000 households and trained 108,000 individuals in seismic construction skills including training in reconstruction guidelines, timber frame construction, block manufacturing, masonry, plumbing and steel-fixing units. Additionally, PPAF is under taking rehabilitation of over 500 small-scale infrastructure projects and reconstructing (second generation) 16 health and educational facilities.   Lifebuoy has been working with rural communities and educating them on the importance of hand washing for over five years now. They have created seven million impressions and reached over 55 towns spreading awareness of the need to stay germ free and advocating the need to wash hands throughout the day. This year alone Lifebuoy has reached 10,000 schools and continues to work with various Unilever CSR partners to further the education of those living in rural areas.