The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, created by the Norwegian Refugee Council at the request of the UN, has published a disturbing report (pdf full report, pdf fact sheet) noting a severe rise in IDPs. In 2009, 27.1 million people were displaced, the highest number since 1994. Since 1997, the number of IDPs has steadily increased from 17 million, while the number of refugees has roughly stayed the same.
Not surprisingly, five nations — Sudan, Colombia, Iraq, DRC, and Somalia — accounted for over half of all IDPs, but the largest amount of relative growth occurred in South and Southeast Asia, particularly Pakistan, where there are now over 1.2 million internally displaced.
The report is fascinating and well-put-together, breaking down the numbers by region and individual nation with charts like the one below. Considering both the stark vulnerability of this population and the massive destabilizing effects, it’s worth at least a morning of your time.