Those numbers can get lost in the daily developments, so the U.N. Refugee Agency put together a series of fascinating Instagram portraits of individual refugees and their tales.
For example, Ina Toure, 52, left the northern Malian town of Gao nine months ago when Islamists took control of the area. Her family of 15 people now shares a two-room home in a Bamako suburb and struggles to pay their rent, which is about $50, the agency says.
Moctat Maia, 50, fled his home because he was "afraid and exhausted." Most of the internally displaced are living in precarious conditions with a lack of access of health care, clean water and other resources, UNHCR writes.
Some bear the signs of life under Islamist rule. Suliman Traore and Moctar Toure both had their hands amputated by Islamist separatists in the northern Malian town of Gao. Both fled to Bamako soon after and now sell small goods near a bus station where they also sleep at night.
Haoussa Aidara, 35, left Timbuktu in April. She and her family fled to Mopti, but then left last week when the conflict intensified under the French military intervention. Her family is now renting a small two-room apartment in the capital, Bamako.
Check out the full set at UNHCR's Instagram feed.